The Presidential Presence: ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’

Readers' Salon

Through a colleague/friend I was recently able to attend the advance screening of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, the movie partly based on the book Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Team of RivalsSo much has been written about the 16th President of the United States that at times it’s hard to find something that doesn’t seem derivative and clichéd. But Goodwin’s book speaks to the core of what made Lincoln great and in turn illustrates what constitutes true leadership: Recognize and recruit the best people possible; include and even seek out opposing ideas, agendas and points of view; display the courage to hear out and really engage with those opposing viewpoints, not only with rigor but with humility and humour.

True leadership has little time for ‘yes-men’ and ‘group-think.’ After all is said and done there is a moment when decisions and actions have to…

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