“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”
This thought from 16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln, has long been an inspirational beacon for my own visioning and self-development. It was ringing in my ears again as I prepared my last two blogs on life’s uncertainty and after watching the new movie Lincoln during the holidays.
Lincoln is an outstanding historical drama directed and produced by Steven Spielberg with Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The movie is partly based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. The story centers on the last four months of Lincoln’s life. It’s mainly focused on his leadership in January 1965 to have the Thirteen Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed by the House of Representatives. This will abolish slavery as the bitter and bloody civil war is ending.
Day-Lewis delivers an incredibly powerful performance showing Lincoln using his well-honed leadership skills to push, pull, and navigate the byzantine maze of Washington politics during one of the most tumultuous periods of American history (teetering on a moral cliff). He’s clearly well prepared to seize all chances coming his way. Scholar surveys of American presidents since the 1940s consistently rank Lincoln in the top three and often in first place.
Tomorrow we publish my December blogs compiled into January’s Leader Letter. The first two items focus on the folly of prophecies, predictions, and forecasts. As in Lincoln’s time, no one can tell us what the future may hold. But we can prepare ourselves, our teams, and our organizations with strong leadership skills and high-performance cultures. Then as our chances come we’ll emerge as victors rather than victims of change.
Although just available for the last four months of 2012, we’ll look back at “How to Be Exceptional, destined to be a landmark leadership book.” “Is your culture anchored in Strengths or Weaknesses” centers on Culture Anchor Points. Where your team or organization falls on this continuum is central to how prepared you’ll all be to deal with the unpredictable changes ahead.
“A balanced approach for highly engaged employees” looks at the need for leaders to both push and pull for high productivity, creativity, and customer satisfaction. Over the past four months we’ve produced many white papers, articles, blogs, and webcasts. The “strengths-based leadership development index” organizes all these links so you can harness this powerful new approach for preparing yourself, your team, and your organization. And what better way to prepare for 2013 than “giving your team the gift of becoming a better boss?”
May you be prepared to seize all the changes and chances coming your way in 2013!