"WHERE KNOWLEDGE IS WEALTH"

Monday, November 24, 2008

ABRAHAM LINCOLN – BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

Nobody would have expected a farmer to be crowned as the President. Nobody believed that a person who had successive failures in his life would become the Presidential candidate for the Republican Party. Nobody imagined that a non-glamorous and self-educated person would have the courage to fight for the abolition of slavery tooth and nail. Nobody ever thought that a leader can command respect across the world cutting the nationalities. It was Abraham Lincoln who proved to the world that a leader is a leader and a great leader like him is born in the hearts of the people not in the minds.

Let us look at his brief profile on the eve of his bicentennial birth celebrations to be marked in Feb 2009.

Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 Feb 1809. He lost his mother at ten years of age and was brought up by step mother who was affectionate and caring. He was not blessed with formal education and learnt of his own with his interest and enthusiasm. He was self-educated. He married Mary Todd and they had four boys and only one of whom lived to maturity. He faced several failures in his life but no failure broke his passion to grow. He became an excellent symbol for his dogged determination and motivation for others. He was respected by many but his anti-slavery policies hurt Southerners and incurred their displeasure. As a result he was assassinated by a racist and Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth on Good Friday, 14 April 1865.

He lived during the most turbulent times in the history of America where there were divisions like North and South and the burning issue of slavery. No other president would have handled the way Lincoln handled and brought country out of chaos and strengthened. He was the pioneer in ending slavery from the soil of America.

He was tactful and diplomatic in winning over his rivals by his story telling techniques. He was a wisdom leader, benevolent leader, charismatic leader, transformational leader, motivational leader and inspirational leader. It was a rare combination for any leader to possess combination of all such ingredients. His leadership and character has often been compared with George Washington. He was the rarest of the rare presidents America ever had.

He was modest and always kept low profile. The success did not go to head despite reaching his tipping point. He never forgot his humble origins. He always took pride in having come from humble background. His lawyer professional helped him to analyze the problems from various perspectives so as to find solutions and that helped him to evolve himself as a leader. He was a very good net worker and believed in maintaining the relations without expecting anything from others. He had the great habit of writing the ideas through his diary and it helped him to draft his own speeches in his later life. He believed in thorough preparation in every aspect of life. He was champion of self-discipline.

He took continuous feedback from all and mostly from his critics. It was his critics who provided right inputs for his intellectual growth and for his ideological improvement and refinement. He respected his enemies more thereby making them as his friends. His knack of story telling in every situation helped in winning over his opponents both as a lawyer and as a politician.

He was initially underestimated by the people as he was viewed as a second graded and unworthy, ugly president by his looks. But nobody realized the hidden potential and strength of Lincoln.

He was undeterred by false accusations and calumny made by and strongly believed in what was right and what was wrong not who was right and who was wrong as we can draw from his quote, "Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us…. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."

Although he was a farmer by origins he worked all the way by building education informally, read about law, built his strengths like writing and speaking skills, developed networking skills by his humble and humane contacts and gradually rose to the top. Lincoln’s success was not an overnight one but it was a continuous and sustained effort to achieve big. All along life he knew where he was heading because he had vision.

He was a voracious reader of various books, good dealer in negotiations and a life long learner. He never believed in perfection but in excellence as he knew that perfection was neither feasible nor possible. He demonstrated his team building skills during the Civil War and it helped him win the war and prevented the Union from the brink of disintegration.

He was like an eagle in his vision and he set out his goals based on his vision. He divided his goals into short term and long term. It was because of his long term goals he was undeterred by short term failures. His long term goal was to become big as it would be reflected from his quotation, “Someday I shall be President”.

Although Lincoln looked simple by outlook he had enormous emotional intelligence and strength that catapulted to greater heights of presidency. His ideas and insights are priceless and timeless. He was a benevolent leader as he treated others with compassion as it was evident that he extended his hand to the fallen South in stead of taking revenge. He left a legacy behind. He became a good ancestor although he was a poor inheritor.

Lincoln prepared a lot as it was evidenced from the below statement:
"Lincoln was a rewriter, who constantly revised his writing, and he was also a pre writer, who was always making notes on things he wanted to get across to the public," Wilson said.

He firmly believed in just causes and right causes irrespective of the consequences as it is clear from his quotation of "The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just."

In the initial stage of Lincoln’s political career nobody took him seriously based on his physical appearance and family background and also on his track record of failures. But gradually people began taking him seriously. Mahatma Gandhi aptly said, when any leader takes up the charge initially he would be ignored and in the second stage he would be to taken seriously and people start criticizing him by comparing with other leaders and with their policies and thoughts. And in the third and final stage he would be accepted and respected as a leader. Lincoln also underwent all these stages in his life and became one of the most respected leaders in the American history.

Abraham Lincoln is always remembered for his exemplary character and for his leadership qualities. His dogged determination, perseverance and high motivational level led him to the nation’s highest office.

His tenure as the President of America would be remembered as one of the most glorious periods in the history of America. When he took over the reins everyone was skeptical about his abilities and doubted his capabilities to deliver the goods, but he proved his critics wrong.

When a farmer could rise to the top slot and seat of America why not we? We too can achieve. Anybody and everybody can achieve anything in life if the efforts and energies are sustained backed by passion, vision and mission.

To sum Lincoln was an average person. He made it happen though his courage and leadership qualities. The way he handled the crises during the turbulent times of American is a memorable one it is worth to be emulated by all. He would be remembered and respected as long as the human civilization exists.

T H E E N D

2 comments:

Dhiva said...

Hello Sir.,
Dhiva here your continous post on Mr.Abraham Lincoln has given my more knowledge and desired motivation in my profession too. and i would like you to add some information has :

Lincoln's Incredible Journey to Become the Sixteenth President of the USA!

Events that shaped his life:
1. He had to work to support his family after they were forced out of their home. 1816
2. His mother died. 1818
3. Failed in business. 1831
4. Defeated for the State Legislature. 1832
5. Lost his job and couldn't get into law school. 1832
6. Declared bankruptcy and spent the next 17 years of his life paying off the money he borrowed from friends to start his business. 1833
7. Defeated for the State Legislature again. 1834
8. Engaged to be married, but his sweetheart died and his heart was broken. 1835
9. Had a nervous breakdown, spent the next six months in bed. 1836
10. Defeated for the speaker of the State Legislature. 1838
11. Defeated in becoming elector. 1840
12. Defeated for Congress. 1843
13. Defeated for Congress. 1846
14. Defeated for Congress. 1848
15. Rejected for job of Land Officer in his home state. 1849
16. Defeated for the Senate. 1854
17. Defeated for Vice-President – got less than 100 votes. 1856
18. Defeated for the Senate for the third time. 1858
19. Was elected President of the United States, and saved the Union. 1860

i got this information form the web.
Keep going on Sir

Regards
Dhiva..

Dhiva said...

Hello Sir.,
Dhiva here your continous post on Mr.Abraham Lincoln has given my more knowledge and desired motivation in my profession too. and i would like you to add some information has :

Lincoln's Incredible Journey to Become the Sixteenth President of the USA!

Events that shaped his life:
1. He had to work to support his family after they were forced out of their home. 1816
2. His mother died. 1818
3. Failed in business. 1831
4. Defeated for the State Legislature. 1832
5. Lost his job and couldn't get into law school. 1832
6. Declared bankruptcy and spent the next 17 years of his life paying off the money he borrowed from friends to start his business. 1833
7. Defeated for the State Legislature again. 1834
8. Engaged to be married, but his sweetheart died and his heart was broken. 1835
9. Had a nervous breakdown, spent the next six months in bed. 1836
10. Defeated for the speaker of the State Legislature. 1838
11. Defeated in becoming elector. 1840
12. Defeated for Congress. 1843
13. Defeated for Congress. 1846
14. Defeated for Congress. 1848
15. Rejected for job of Land Officer in his home state. 1849
16. Defeated for the Senate. 1854
17. Defeated for Vice-President – got less than 100 votes. 1856
18. Defeated for the Senate for the third time. 1858
19. Was elected President of the United States, and saved the Union. 1860

i got this information form the web.
Keep going on Sir

Regards
Dhiva..