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Lincoln on Leadership Part III: Endeavor

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Doug McLane
  • 90th Security Forces Squadron First Sergeant
Leadership is the foundation that can define a person. It's one where you will be faced with challenging choices and decisions and one that ultimately will determine if you are wise in your leadership role.

The word "leadership" is defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization, when you think about this word it really is a lot more involved than just the act of leading. One of the principles that Abraham Lincoln is credited with is when you make a decision, you should understand the facts, consider the various solutions and their consequences, make sure the decision is consistent with your objectives and effectively communicate your judgment.

This simple philosophy Lincoln used while in office can also be used by all of us on an everyday basis. How you might ask? It's simple. Think about when you are out drinking with one of your fellow Airmen and it is time to go home, not only should you have a Wingman but you should step up and be responsible, think of the consequences of your actions and make sure that you speak up and remind everyone that drinking and driving is not only illegal but also an overall bad choice.

You may not be the most liked person when you speak up but you will know you made the right decision and you were a true leader.

Another key aspect to leadership is being responsible for your actions. Lincoln was a master of this and he felt if he had to make a leadership decision then he should be the one that was responsible for the consequences of the decision he made.

Therefore, in all the leadership roles Lincoln was placed he always took responsibility for the outcome of his decisions. To put this into perspective, when you become a supervisor and have to make supervisory decisions it is imperative that you not blame anybody else for the outcome if it is not what was expected. You should take responsibility for your actions and make sure you do not make the same mistake twice.

Remember, leadership is the foundation that will define a person, especially the decisions they make. It is important to always know the facts, consider various solutions and consequences, make sure your decisions are consistent with your objectives, effectively communicate your judgment and take responsibility for your actions.