Today’s Presentation: The 96 Hours

A little later this evening I'll be presenting on buy-in and leadership. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite topics and modules. The history here is the 96 hours that Abraham Lincoln lived, October 1 through October 4, 1862. Several people have asked me to write a book around this stretch of days. I think they're right. I should write a book. In fact, maybe I'll broaden the topic slightly … [Read more...]

Of Hogs, Vladimir Putin, And Abraham Lincoln

This morning I found a moment shared, incredibly, by Vladimir Putin and Abraham Lincoln. One of Lincoln's tools of communication was to use illustrations from farming life in his speeches and commentary. He once referred to holding the leg of a hog as it was butchered and skinned. Imagine my surprise when, in today's Wall Street Journal, I read that Vladimir Putin was asked about the … [Read more...]

Fad Phrases

If you follows the news, you might have noticed a phrase in speeches, articles, and commentaries. It's "game-changer." Right now, this phrase pops up in communication about foreign policy, national security, and war, meaning that something new or different as a decision or action will fundamentally shift the nature or state of things. President Obama has repeatedly invoked the phrase when talking … [Read more...]

A Visible and Visceral Reaction

Earlier this week, I witnessed an amazing moment. In the span of a few seconds, 151 years disappeared. Gone. I was there to see it happen. This was the scene. Seven people, not counting me, were seated around a table. We were re-experiencing the four days Abraham Lincoln spent with the Army of the Potomac in early October 1862. A little over half-way done, I had the group take the real-life role … [Read more...]

Something Lincoln Shows

When seeking buy-in from your followers, be sure to go where they are, see what they do, and demonstrate to them that you place great value on them and their work. This is a key step in building buy-in. And when you do this, understand that if it takes time, whether a few hours or a few days, you as the leader may experience some ups and downs. You may have a negative reaction at some point. … [Read more...]

The People Eater

I met one of my alumni for coffee today. The time I spend with my alumni is always thoroughly enjoyable. We chatted about dozens of things. I'd like to share one of them with you. People-eaters. What is a people-eater? In leadership, I think a people-eater is a leader who uses his or her followers with no regard as to their growth and development. They're interested in squeezing out the last … [Read more...]

Writing Lincoln

I’ve starting doing something new with one of my favorite and most requested sessions, Abraham Lincoln and the One-Armed Man. Each time before I conduct the session, I copy out, by hand, the Gettysburg Address. It’s fifteen of the best non-family minutes I’ll spend on any given day. For the time it takes to copy it down, I’m doing something that Lincoln did, that he actually, physically, … [Read more...]

The Balance From History

I chuckle at some of these leadership sayings. Here's a hoot: "leaders don't complain about what's not working. Leaders celebrate what is working and work to amplify it." I wonder how much celebrating George Washington was doing when he faced the ruin of the American cause in late 1776. I wonder how much amplifying of the good Abraham Lincoln did when one of his sons died from illness during the … [Read more...]

The Lincoln Way

Next week I am scheduled to be one of the featured speakers at an event. In trying to practice what I preach, I’m using history. In this case, I’m following the example of Abraham Lincoln. Whenever Lincoln had a speech to give, he developed it in a unique way. He would mull the speech in his mind before he wrote anything. He found ideas, phrases, words, and images that best fit the occasion. … [Read more...]

Adaptation of Lincoln and the One-Armed Man

My client tomorrow for an installment of "Abraham Lincoln and the One-Armed Man" is undergoing extensive change. They are a medium-sized organization about to be merged into a substantially larger entity. Yes indeed, that's change. I re-read the Gettysburg Address in light of the overall issue of change. It's remarkable how germane the speech is to change. For one thing, Lincoln explains the … [Read more...]

You And Your Followers: The Bond

I'm revising my module on Abraham Lincoln and the One-Armed Man for a client presentation tomorrow. It led me to this question for you--when do you think you have connected at the most core, basic, and fundamental level with your followers? Has that ever happened for you? If so, what accounts for it? If not, what do you think is necessary for it to occur? Lincoln made this connection with the … [Read more...]

Triple Layered History

I saw three layers of history at an event from which that I just returned. The Downtown Indianapolis Kiwanis Club conducted its 36th version of the Abe Lincoln Scholarship Luncheon. Local high schools nominate deserving high school seniors who have overcome extraordinary obstacles to be successful and promising students. Each student had a stirring, emotional story to share. It was wonderful, … [Read more...]

More Reaction to Lincoln and One-Armed Man Video

One of my viewers of the One-Armed Man video sent an email to me with his reaction. Beyond thoroughly enjoying it, he said he was "surprised" at the content. When I pressed for a little more explanation, he said that it shocked him that someone yelled out in the middle of the president's speech. "It was a different era," this viewer concluded. I think this is a point to ponder. Maybe we've lost … [Read more...]

Lincoln at Hanover: The Incident

In my latest video on Lincoln and the One-Armed Man, I mentioned something about an incident at the Hanover, Pennsylvania train depot. It involved Lincoln and his leadership. I've actually posted part of the incident on the Activities section of this website. It's labeled as "Challenge Your Thinking." Take a look and get back to me. … [Read more...]

Latest Video: Lincoln and the One-Armed Man

Today I sent out the video on Abraham Lincoln and the One-Armed Man. The reaction is coming in swift and sure--viewers really like it. I think the popularity of the piece may have something to do with Lincoln. He's always a subject of fascination or, at least, curiosity. More than that, though, I also sense that the One-Armed Man's story is very much our story--yours and mine--in the way that a … [Read more...]

A Different Feel of Gettysburg

Personally, I've had an effect from the development of my module on Abraham Lincoln and the One-Armed Man. It's fundamentally changed the way I perceive the Gettysburg Address. All the way up to the point of several weeks ago, I simply thought of the Gettysburg Address as a national historical moment. It was a point on the timeline of the nation's Civil War, albeit one of enormous significance and … [Read more...]