9 C’s of Lincoln’s Leadership

When it was in the theatres, I watched the extraordinary movie Lincoln.  Rarely do I watch a movie a second time, but I’m such an admirer of President Lincoln that I couldn’t wait for its video release.  My family watched it last weekend.  To me, the acting is so perfect that I feel like I am truly watching Lincoln himself.

There are thousands of articles and books about Lincoln.  As I watched the movie, I noted some of his attributes for achieving his goals.  The movie was primarily focused on Lincoln’s goal to pass the Thirteenth Amendment.  Throughout the fight in the House of Representatives, Lincoln was:

1.  Committed.  He was willing to risk his reputation to do what was right.

2.  Clever.  How he won votes in the House of Representatives is part of the story that intrigues me.

3.  Calm.  In the midst of incomprehensible stress, Abraham Lincoln was calm.  He would tell a story, a joke, or quietly sit by himself.

4.  Compromising.  He didn’t compromise his values, but he understood the political necessities and how to negotiate in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Leadership Lessons from Over 50 Thought Leaders

People + Books = 1 Changed Life

 

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones was one of my great influencers.  He repeatedly said that, “You will be the same person you are today in five years but for two things:  the people you meet and the books you read.” Every year, I am privileged to have the opportunity to read so many incredible books and meet fascinating people from all walks of life.

Last year, I launched this blog with the idea of sharing insights, ideas, and inspiration from many sources. On the one hand, I’m disappointed that I was only able to share a fraction of all of the people who influenced me. On the other, I’m glad that I started doing it because now, as I look back on it, I’m the one who benefited the most. Charlie was right. All of the books I read and all of the people I met did indeed change me.

Here are a few of the people who shared their experience and wisdom. If I can learn a fraction of what they know, I will be better equipped to lead in the coming year.

Before you start the new year, take the time to meet some of these people and take their leadership lessons with you. Instead of “interview in progress” you will find a “great life in progress.”

Leadership, News & Politics

 

Dan Rather (his life in the news)

Condoleezza Rice (former Secretary of State)

Barbara Simons (on the dangers of new ballot machines)

Senator Bill Bradley (on how we can all do better)

 

Business Leadership, Strategy & Execution

 

John Baldoni (purpose, leadership)

Jill Geisler (Make Work Happy)

Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos on culture)

Cynthia Montgomery (strategist)

Jim Huling (on the 4 disciplines of execution)

Geoffrey Moore (how to cross the chasm and rethink the future)

Faisal Hoque (BTM CEO on the power of convergence)

Chris Grivas (which creative style are you?)

Shep Hyken (7 strategies of amazing customer service)

Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?

Our democratic form of government relies on the accuracy of our elections, but how reliable are they?  What are the dangers of the technologies we are using?  In a fascinating new book Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?, Douglas Jones and Barbara Simons take readers on a journey through historical issues with voting technologies to modern day issues and the finally ending with recommendations for today.

Whether you are Democrat, Republican, Independent or a member of another party, the integrity of the process is critical.  As elections are now decided by a smaller and smaller number of votes, the perfection we expect will perhaps be scrutinized like never before.

My interview with Barbara Simons:

Your book Broken Ballots is a comprehensive review of the process of counting votes.  It begins with a sweeping view of the use of ballot technology.

I was fascinated to read so many examples of election issues throughout our nation’s history.  Share with us one or two of the more memorable events you outlined in the book.

Unfortunately, there are many examples of machine melt-downs and failures to choose from.  Two that I think are illustrative of the problems of paperless voting occurred in Cartaret County, NC in 2004 and Sarasota, FL in 2006.

5 Steps for Helping You Keep an Open Mind

You are perched high above a courtroom, wondering how you got into this position.  You pinch yourself thinking, “This is a dream!”

You watch as the prosecutor stands up and addresses the court.  The evidence is overwhelming.  The facts are clear.  The accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and should be locked away for years.  The attorney begins to outline the evidence, building the case block by block.  You watch a videotape of the crime.  You hear the witnesses testifying one by one.  Finally, the prosecution rests its case.

The defense attorney stands up, adjusts her suit and begins to say, “Good afternoon,” when you hear a voice thunder, “Enough!  I’ve heard enough.  Let’s not waste any more time.  Guilty.  Ten years in prison and no parole!”

The courtroom is stunned.  After all, what judge would possibly issue a sentence before hearing both sides of the argument.

Who would do that?!

The answer?  YOU.

And me.  We all do it.  We make judgments before hearing both sides.  And nowhere is that more obvious than in the middle of election season.  Do you:

Dan Rather On His Life In the News

 

Two weeks ago, I shared an interview that I did with legendary CBS anchor Dan Rather backstage before our onstage discussion.  Today’s post features the onstage interview.  Onstage we talked about a number of subjects ranging from the personal to the historical.  If you have the time to view it in its entirety, I’m sure you will enjoy it.  Because it is just over thirty minutes and you may not have the time to view it all, I decided to write the subjects we discussed with the approximate time.

If you only tune in for one subject, I suggest you watch Dan Rather give his perspective on Civil Rights, Dr. Martin Luther King and how it impacted his life.  Here are a few highlights from that conversation:

“I find as a nation, as a people, as a society, we have a certain amount of amnesia.  Amnesia about what the reality of the civil rights situation was particularly for people of color….Covering Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement changed me as a person and as a pro….I grew up in a segregated society…if I’m this afraid…what must it be like to be of color and know this is happening down the street?”

Dan Rather understandably became very emotional as he recalled those events.  “To see people in power in city government turn high pressure fire hoses loose on children…I would not have believed people could do this, turn firehoses and vicious dogs on women and children.”   15:18

Interview: