President Lincoln speaks on leadership
I’ll be speaking as Lincoln at Westlake Porter Public Library on Tuesday, May 22, at 7:00 p.m. Here is just a little about my talk.
If you were looking for someone to lead you in a war and received the following two resumes, which person would you feel is best for the job?
- Jefferson Davis, born into a well-to-do, distinguished military family with ancestors that fought in the Revolutionary War, a graduate of West Point, a lieutenant in the Indian Wars, later a colonel in the war with Mexico, a congressman, a senator and a secretary of war before being elected as the president of the Confederacy in 1861.
- Abraham Lincoln, born in a backwoods log cabin to parents eking out a living from the land, only intermittent elementary education schooling, failed shopkeeper, appointed “captain” by his squad in the Black Hawk War with no training and no action seen, a congressman and a lawyer before being elected president of the United States in 1860, taking office in 1861.
It’s hard to believe that anyone, given the extensive background in education, military service, politics and executive government service, would not have picked Davis for the job over the genial lawyer with almost none of his experience.
And yet, it was Lincoln who won the war, saving the nation while ending slavery. Lincoln had, or managed to develop, the leadership for the job; Davis did not.
In my talk, Lincoln will discuss what he believes to be the traits of leadership – good and bad using examples of both, with all due modesty, reviewing his leadership. He’ll be using his great sense of humor to make his points or just to get a few laughs.
Questions will be welcome, keeping in mind that he knows nothing about anything that happened after April 14, 1865. He doesn’t even know he was shot that night.
I hope you can join the president and me for an informative and fun evening.
Mel Maurer lives in Westlake.