Presidential Leadership Nuggets

18 Feb

Dear Momentum Leaders,

Today is President’s Day, also known as “the day we all wished we worked for a bank.” In the spirit of the holiday, I’ve got leadership lessons from Washington and Lincoln to share with you today.

I’ve been reading a biography of George Washington called Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow. It is a fascinating biography, winner of the Pulitzer Prize (though I think they give prizes to anyone who writes a 900+ page book). Chernow talks a bit about Washington’s leadership abilities, and this quote stuck out to me:

“Thomas Jefferson, who was to serve with Washington and [Ben] Franklin in the Continental Congress, spotted their economical approach to power. ‘I never heard either of them speak ten minutes at a time, nor to any but the main point,’ he later said of the two statesmen. ‘They laid their shoulders to the great points, knowing that the little ones would follow of themselves.’”

Perhaps that is good wisdom for us, too. Keeping focused on the important pieces, and not getting bogged down in the less important.

For another president, details were critical if one was to make sense of the big picture. This article about Lincoln as a “geek” speaks to that point (note the end of the article in particular):

Where would yo place yourself on this spectrum? Are you a “big picture” person or are you a “detail geek?”

Have you surrounded yourself with someone who thinks differently?

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized


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