Are You Inspired By Abraham Lincoln to Be A Better Leader? Here Are 4 Courses That Can Help!

Abraham Lincoln is remembered as one of America’s greatest presidents. Not only did he play an integral role in keeping the union intact during the Civil War; he also made substantial progress toward abolishing slavery in the United States. For anyone studying what goes into making a good leader, Abraham Lincoln provides a fantastic example of what characteristics to foster.

In the words of Leo Tolstoy:

The greatness of Napoleon, Caesar or Washington is only moonlight to the sun of Lincoln. His example is universal and will last a thousand years…. He was bigger than his country–bigger than all the Presidents together… and as a great character, he will live as long as the world lives.”

Abraham Lincoln’s many leadership characteristics and qualities are so celebrated that there are courses which aspiring leaders can take part in to help guide them along the right path. If you are looking to emulate and exemplify some of Lincoln’s most astonishing characteristics, here are a few courses you may want to look into.

1.  Communications

Doris Kearns Goodwin is an American author and biographer who has penned a number of biographies on U.S. presidents, including Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was extremely successful when it came to communicating his visions and goals to his fellow countrymen. Effective communication skills are absolutely essential if you want to convince a team to work towards a specific goal. One of the reasons why he was such an effective communicator was that he made complex concepts simple and conveyed them in such a way that every citizen could understand.  

An example of how powerful and efficient his communication skills were can be seen from the following exert from his second inaugural speech:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

If you want to build upon your communication skills, you should look for universities offering courses in communications. These will teach you how to overcome certain roadblocks in communicating your ideas as well as develop strategies for effective communication.  

2. Leadership

Lincoln’s leadership skills are probably his most well-known quality. Even today, after over a century, Lincoln is still regarded as an exemplary leader. But what makes a good leader? It is said that feelings and emotions play an integral role in influencing performance and engagement.

What made Lincoln a strong and effective leader was the fact that he genuinely cared about the people around him and so, took the time to show to them how he felt. Lincoln used words which were encouraging and inspiring and his actions were thoughtful and authentic. Whenever he interacted with someone, they felt as if they mattered because Lincoln took the time to make them feel significant.

The fact that Lincoln understood the people around him made him influential. In his own words: “In order to win a man to your cause, you must first reach his heart, the great high road to his reason.”

To foster leadership skills, look for courses in leadership training or management.

3. Inter-personal skills

Another reason why Lincoln was so effective in achieving his goals was because he exhibited phenomenal inter-personal skills. Lincoln was known to hear out multiple peoples’ opinions and gain a wider perspective before making any decisions. In his own words: the "path to success and ambition is broad enough for two".  He was also more than willing to share the blame for any failures encountered as opposed to blaming one person.

In order to build up these skills, you could look to enroll in courses in people management.

4. Balancing work and life

If you take on a leadership role, you will need to learn how to balance work and the rest of your life. Taking time to relax and unwind is essential in order to ensure that you don’t get burned out. Lincoln understood how important this was and frequently took out time to do the things he enjoyed such as spending time with loved ones or going to the theatre. He also loved humor and therefore encouraged laughter and fun within his administration.

If you need to improve your ability to balance work and life, look for courses which teach you techniques on balancing.

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