Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lincoln – Complex, Quiet Story Teller

I had the pleasure of seeing the movie Lincoln this past week and came away appreciating the performance and tone of the movie. 
I think there is a tendency to view Lincoln as the ultimate hero.  Maybe it is a notion set by our history text books or even older movies.  I’m not saying that he isn’t heroic.  I’m really suggesting that his persona is too complex to be conveyed in a single label like “hero.”  I think that the movie was true to this complexity.
I have written about Lincoln previously where I also cited the exploration of Lincoln in the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.  This book provides the basis for the period depicted in the movie.    In my previous post  I wrote about Lincoln and his quiet leadership where I noted
his ability to bring his political rivals into his cabinet and sooth their egos, turn these rivals into allies, and gain their respect and loyalty through his political skill and insight into human behavior. It is this skill that the quiet leader in us emulates and the basis for nominating Lincoln as a quiet leader.
The movie reinforced two perceptions about Lincoln that I held after this earlier citation.
  • Lincoln was comfortable with silence.  He didn’t need to fill every second with conversation. 
  • Lincoln was a consummate story-teller and frequently use a good yarn whenever the situation called for insight, inspiration, or leadership.
I left the movie still comfortable with Lincoln’s nomination to my Quiet Leadership Hall of Fame.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanks for reading.  Please lead quietly.

No comments: