Published by Harvard Business Review just last week, the following article reminds us how the actions of a national leader, over 150 years ago, can be used as a case study and lesson plan for business leaders today. In fact, the rules and lessons of great leadership remain remarkably consistent across both time and context, and learning and modelling from the past can absolutely be used to identify opportunities to create future success.
What do effective successful leaders do well?
According to the authors, great leaders are able to succeed in growing themselves and their organizations when they effectively master the following areas:
1. They wisely manage the present, anchoring in purpose and values.
2. They selectively forget the past, letting go of old values, beliefs, and behaviors that no longer serve them or their organizations.
3. They purposefully create the future by adopting new aspirations, values, beliefs, and behaviors that enable a step-change in their leadership.
Of those areas, the second is highlighted as being the most difficult to master, and the authors outline in detail how Abraham Lincoln’s ability to let go of prior held beliefs, in favour of engaging in new actions and behaviours, led to his leadership turnaround and success at a truly critical time in history.
An interesting read for history buffs and business leaders alike.
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