How Abraham Lincoln’s “Point to Point” Leadership Resolved Our Country’s Greatest Issues

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Abraham Lincoln faced so many, many challenges. And yet he related to James G. Blaine, a United States Representative and later Senator and Secretary of State, that he listened in the moment.  Drawing from some of our frontiersmen, he stated:

“The pilots on our Western rivers steer from point to point, as they call it–setting the course of the boat no farther than they can see; and that is all I propose to myself in this great problem.”

That’s how Abraham Lincoln resolved the numerous challenges he faced during the Civil War.  Struggles abounded: challenging battles, generals who needed to be replaced, and divisions in his own political party.

Our President Lincoln had to mend an entire country. It seems he was pretty successful using “Point to Point” as his mindset. Instead of thinking we can figure out everything in a 2, 5, or 10 year plan, perhaps staying in the moment, being kind, listening and true, and following our inner voice, will lead us to gentle victory as well.

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Abraham Lincoln, affectionately referred to as “Honest Abe”, was a fierce Illinois lawyer who became President of the United States in 1861. Known as an upstanding, relatable man, Lincoln was born in a log cabin to a family of farmers. As an adult, he earned a reputation for himself as a strong orator guided by unshakable morals. In the famous Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Lincoln spoke out against the expansion of slavery–ultimately losing the Senate race to Douglas, but emerging as a prominent force in the political sphere.  

His presidency took place during the tumultuous Civil War between the Union and the Confederacy. In 1863, he changed American history forever with his historic Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves from their shackles. He also crafted the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States.

While many admired him for his bravery and his forward-thinking ideas–certainly the U.S. would not have been the same without his leadership–many others despised him for changing what they thought was the American way of life. He was assassinated by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth on April 15th, 1865. His life was cut short, but President Lincoln has certainly left behind the legacy of a more equal America. He still ranks as one of the top three U.S. presidents in history.

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