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Lincoln on Leadership

By Trish Olson, Interim Associate Dean 

For some, Presidents’ Day is just a holiday from working, banking, or getting mail. For me, this day offers an opportunity to reflect on leadership. Presidents are elected to their position, but mere election does not make them leaders. As part of a leadership cohort in which I participated, we held a leadership book swap. I received Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times by Donald T. Phillips.

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the U.S.

I learned from the book that Lincoln was results-oriented and routinely set goals for himself and others. His primary goal was to preserve the United States of America. Phillips wrote:
Goals unify people, motivate them, focus their talent and energy. Lincoln united his followers with the ‘corporate mission’ of preserving the Union and abolishing slavery… So he constantly set specific short-term goals that his generals and cabinet members could focus on with intent and immediacy.
We have all just completed setting our goals for 2015. How do your short- and long-term goals support our center’s promise?
University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Family Development helps families make informed decisions leading to better health and well being. 
As Lincoln advised, may you focus with “intent and immediacy” on reaching your 2015 goals.
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