If you write, present or simply seek inspiration from thought leaders, you may be interested in a new resource from . The team behind “ideas worth spreading” has collected memorable quotes from its presenters in categories that include business, creativity, education, self-discovery, the arts and more.
In addition to being a helpful research tool when you want a contemporary quote, the site allows you to share your finds by email, Facebook or Twitter. When you share, a link brings your followers back to the original presentation. They can opt to watch the full presentation or start the video where the quote begins. Search quotes here.
As I was browsing the site for ideas, I found a quote on the presidency from historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin. Because she wrote one of my favorite leadership books, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, I chose to watch a video showcasing her deep knowledge of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson — perfect storytelling for Presidents Day.
As in the Lincoln biography, she paints a portrait of President Lincoln as a man who struggled with melancholy but had an extraordinary sense of humor, an ability to entertain audiences with engaging stories and an unparalleled capacity for leadership. In fact, as Goodwin relates, he was the opposite of the stiff, dour man in the formal photographs of the time.
Goodwin notes that President Lincoln had a fierce ambition — not for power but to accomplish something in life so that people would remember him. As he assumed the presidency in 1861, he put electoral politics aside and called upon those who had been his opponents to serve in his cabinet. He knew they offered strengths a divided nation needed.
Noting Lincoln’s challenging role as “captain of an unruly team,” Goodwin outlines the leadership qualities that define his greatness. I’ve turned these into a checklist for team leaders who want inspiration and benchmarks for their roles.
- Do you possess extraordinary empathy and the ability to see others’ points of view?
- Do you address hurt feelings among team members before they lead to permanent hostility?
- Do you share credit and the spotlight generously with your team?
- Do you understand where the buck stops and take responsibility for team member failings?
- Do you acknowledge your own errors and grow from them?
- Do you refuse to let yourself be provoked by petty grievances?
- Do you rise above perceived slights and avoid jealousy?
- Do you communicate in everyday language, using metaphor and story to illustrate your leadership vision?
Not only do we remember President Lincoln today, we recall him as our greatest president. Do you find his leadership qualities and high emotional intelligence (EQ) relevant for teams today?
You might also enjoy Advice on Leading and Succeeding the CEO-Way.