Sunday, February 05, 2006

Leading when the bullets are flying

Many entrepreneurs can sympathize with a leader around whom bullets are literally flying. A leader's preeminent responsibility is to define the vision and assemble an outstanding team, even in the midst of chaos.

So the leader does. An outstanding team of incredibly talented people is put together. But talented, successful people come with big egos, and sometimes it seems they constantly bicker, even when the world is burning all around them - perhaps because the world is burning all around them. The only thing each member of the team can agree on is that they would be better as the CEO than the current CEO.

That's the situation Abraham Lincoln found himself in. He had a assembled an incredible cabinet, who each though he would be a better president. And Lincoln did the thing that only they leader can do, define the mission, which in his case was to preserve the union. Everything not essential to achieving the mission was negotiable, from slavery to the prosecution of the war.

Team of Rivals will give you an immense new respect for the Lincolns leadership, even if like me you are already a Lincoln fan.

1 comment:

Naim Peress said...

I felt the same way about the book. I was already a Lincoln admirer. I'm now a Lincoln worshipper. Perhaps you'd like to see what I thought of the book at