This book is somewhat of a biography of Lincoln, but it’s really about how Lincoln brought a team together. It’s an astounding display of how Lincoln, for the good of the country and to his own personal detriment sometimes, would hire (and then not fire men) who were totally opposed to him, sometimes bitterly-opposed. There are lessons in deep and wide magnanimosity and lessons for playing well with others.
A few weeks ago a friend was looking for some suggestions on a biography of Lincoln. I said, in part: “I understand about not wanting to commit to it… it took some time… [this is a big book]. But I might need to suggest you do it anyway. It is first, a dealing with his politics, especially the relationships and it has a good deal to teach about dealing with people with heaps of grace. But it also covered some of the biographical stuff very well and it really, REALLY pulled me in during the final days of his life; I wept at one of the scenes that occurred two days after his death.”
Lincoln is controversial, too. Though widely hailed (especially among people who can’t name more than four Presidents) as the best President, Lincoln is not faultless. But he knew that. And while some men would have tried to cover up their foibles with lies, screens, smoke, and eloquence, Lincoln brought in transparency, honesty and, literally, a team of rivals (primarily those who had lost to him in the primary) to stand next to him and help him through the turbulent pre-Civil War America. It’s an amazing study.
Give a hoot. Don’t miss any of them. Here are the others.