Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lincoln the Advisetaker

On this day in 1862, President Lincoln revealed the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his stunned Cabinet. He had not briefed anyone about this initiative. On Secretary of State William Seward's advice, Lincoln waited to release the Proclamation until a military victory. That would not come until September and the Battle of Antietam.

This decision shows Lincoln's greatness as a leader. He felt sure of himself yet he was willing to accept good advice. We have all worked for managers whose attitude was "When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you." By accepting the advice, Lincoln added to the impact of the Proclamation. In so doing, he made it impossible for Britain and France to recognize the South.

He possessed that quality that every successful politician must have: good timing.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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