Learn from a Leader: Honest Abe

Abraham Lincoln

The 16th president of the United Sates, Abe Lincoln grew up in the backwoods of Kentucky and bounced around from Indiana to Illinois early in his teens. He grew up with very little education, but was a self taught reader from books he borrowed. As a young man he served as a storekeeper and from time to time would chop wood. He would move into politics when he turned 25, winning a seat in Illinois Legislature. 

Through many trials and tribulations Abe was elected president of the United States. Abe managed to preserve the nation through the Civil War, issued the Emancipation Proclamation which began the process of eliminating slavery in the United States, and was a strong supporter of the thirteenth amendment which formally ended slavery. 

"My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure"

- Abe Lincoln

When we talk about leaders we usually just focus on their success and rarely hear about any set backs or failures. Abe Lincoln success stories are really about persistence and overcoming the battle with failure.  Here are a few examples of the setbacks Abe had throughout his life.

  • Grew up in poverty 
  • His mother Died at a young age
  • He failed in business
  • Wasn't "Smart Enough" to get into Law School
  • Engaged to be married, finance passed away
  • Battled nervous breakdowns as a teen and was in bed for 6 straight months 
  • Lost 8 elections before he became president

President Lincoln faced his setbacks head on and understood that the challenges he went through were an opportunity to grow. When he lost multiple elections, he used that as a wake up call to work harder the next time. Lincoln was a perfect example that great effort and attitude can help you maximize your potential. He had a persistent passion for stretching himself, and others, while sticking to it when things weren't going well.

There is a reason why Abe Lincoln has over 16,000 books written about him.