Steel in the Soul: The Refined Leadership of President Lincoln

Title: Steel in the Soul: The Refined Leadership of President Lincoln
Authors: Soberano, Marinette
Date: 2013-09-10
Abstract: We hold our leaders accountable to and for their decisions. But how accountable do leaders hold themselves? Aspiring politicians respond to public outcries for democratic reform and change with hefty campaign promises. Nevertheless, why are some leaders more successful in achieving mandate than others? The central premise of this major research paper is that refined executive leadership is the deciding factor for an enduring success and legacy. In this context, refined signifies “purified, fine--‐tuned, characterized by subtlety,”1 which is cultivated in a humble resilient, persevering response to recurring failure, disappointment, and adversity. This inner development of leadership is analogous to the purification process of metallurgy that frees the production of metals, such as steel, from impurities and defects. A hybrid--‐conceptual model based on historical methodology is introduced to trace the path of President Lincoln’s leadership development from young politician till his untimely death. Examples from Lincoln’s speeches, biographies, and various associated resources illustrate each of the model’s components and the pitfalls that can derail from complete refinement. January 1, 2013 commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln’s executive Civil War order that preceded the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States. Similar to our day, President Lincoln faced dilemmas of social injustice, democratic governance, and leadership liability. How and why was he able to successfully legislate change? The conclusion drawn from this research is that he responded to the negative pressures of life by becoming a beacon of accountability. Therefore, his journey towards refined leadership can offer timeless principles to address ever--‐contemporary issues.
CollectionAffaires publiques et internationales - Mémoires // Public and International Affairs - Research Papers