Lessons from Lincoln: 5

“Still the question recurs, ‘Can we do better?’  The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.  The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion.  As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”

Powerful words that Abraham Lincoln spoke in his annual address to congress in 1862.

As a leader Lincoln understood the importance of innovative thinking.  He was not only willing to change with the times, he encouraged those around him to embrace change as well.

When was the last time you tried something new in your leadership environment?

Too often leaders become complacent with the status quo and thus stop taking territory.  Taking territory, by nature, requires change.  Change involves risk.  And risk feels dangerous.

But I would argue that it is more risky to resist change than it is to embrace it.

A friend of mine is notorious for trying new things.  He has told me before that he wants, “At least he tried,” on his tombstone.  I like this guy.  He challenges me to stretch, think, and pursue.

I hope you have a dangerous streak in you.  All leaders need one.

Lincoln’s words still ring true. “The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion.”

So rise.  Think.  Try.  Believe.  And rally those around you.

Like me, you ‘can do better,’ but only if you are willing to “think and act anew.”




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10 years ago

Once we understand that change is the one constant that we have innovations are inevitable.


10 years ago

Thanks for the comment RP


10 years ago

Great blog!

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