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April 2012
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President's MessageSteve Wiley

Happy spring from Gettysburg! This month, I would like to share a very powerful video with you. It is presented by author Simon Sinek and is one of TED's (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Ideas Worth Spreading. In the video, Sinek describes his "golden circle" with the central question of "why." Why does your organization exist? Why do you do what you do every day?

Using the examples of Apple, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright brothers, Sinek explores stories of leaders who were motivated by the why of what they do more so than the what of what they do. Sinek says, "People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it." Doesn't this remind you of Chamberlain's inspired speech to the mutineers? His words took listeners to the why of the fight on Little Round Top and clarified that the war wasn't about land, riches or plunder. Chamberlain underscores the real reason those men were fighting when he says, "In the end we are fighting for each other."

Sinek adds, "If you hire people just because they can do a job, they'll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they'll work for you with blood and sweat and tears." So what do you believe? Can you drill down and identify what your why is and how you can communicate to those around you?

These are tough questions, but they are ones worth thinking about.

You can view this thought-provoking and inspirational video on the TED website.

Read on and learn more about an award that one of our faculty members just won. We also included some advice about listening and much more in this issue!


Steven B. Wiley, president & founder
The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg


Peatman Receives Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize

Jared Peatman

The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg faculty member Jared Peatman was recently awarded the Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize by the Abraham Lincoln Association and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Inc. Peatman received the award during the Abraham Lincoln Institute's 15th Annual Symposium held Saturday, March 24, at National Archives II in College Park, Md. The award is presented annually to honor and promote the work of young scholars who conduct research on the life and era of Abraham Lincoln.

Peatman's dissertation examines the legacy of the Gettysburg Address from its delivery through the Cold War. During his research, Peatman tracked down references to the speech in places as diverse as the French Constitution and a United States government-produced comic book that was translated into Vietnamese and sent to Saigon in 1959. Peatman is currently revising the dissertation for publication and expects the final work to be on bookshelves by the sesquicentennial of the Gettysburg Address in late 2013.

The Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize is underwritten by the Abraham Lincoln Institute and the Lehrman Institute. The Abraham Lincoln Association and the Abraham Lincoln Institute select each year's recipients, with each organization alternating its award designation from year to year.

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Renovations Planned for Lincoln's Tomb

President Abraham Lincoln's final resting place is about to get much-needed repairs. According to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the 138-year-old tomb inside Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Ill., will receive about $700,000 of repairs to correct water damage and refinish interior architectural elements. Ratio Architects of Indianapolis, Ind. has been hired for the renovation work.

Read more about the Lincoln tomb project.

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Rare Lincoln Cabinet Document Goes on Sale

Rare Lincoln Cabinet Document

Photo courtesy: The Raab Collection

Pieces of history can turn up in unexpected places-even within pages of books.

The granddaughter of an Ohio judge recently found a document signed by President Abraham Lincoln and his Cabinet secretaries. The document was found inside the pages of a 19th-century book the judge had owned. Lincoln's signatures and the signatures of his Cabinet secretaries are included on the document. Now, the item is up for sale by Philadelphia-based historic documents dealer The Raab Collection.

Learn more about this historical treasure and find out how much the item is expected to generate at sale from The Washington Post. You can also read more about the document on The Raab Collection's website.

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Learn to Become a Power Listener

Are you a good listener? Do you do what we suggest here at Gettysburg and "listen 'til it hurts"? Listening is so important! Here's an interesting statistic from a 1999 report released by the U.S. Department of Labor: 46 percent of those who quit their jobs reported they left their positions because they felt they were not listened to and were therefore unappreciated.

This month FastCompany.com has a great article about being a "Power Listener." Author Bernard T. Ferrari discusses the different archetypes of bad listeners. Read Ferrari's commentary to see if you ever take on the persona of "the Opinionator," "the Grouch," "the Preambler," "the Perseverator," "the Answer Man" or "the Pretender."

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Lincoln Leadership Institute's Faculty Focus

Joe Mieczkowski

The faculty of The Lincoln Leadership Institute are often asked to share their thoughts about Lincoln's acts of leadership, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War. In this issue, Lincoln Leadership Institute faculty member Joe Mieczkowski reflects on the leadership actions of Clara Barton.

Submitted by: Joe Mieczkowski

With the emergence of the Civil War, Clara Barton, a clerk in the U.S. Patent Office, dedicated herself to aiding soldiers on the battlefront. Never before had women been allowed in hospitals, camps or on battlefields; initially, military officials declined her help. Eventually, she gained the trust of these individuals and began receiving supplies from all over the country. As a result of her untiring work, she became known as the "angel of the battlefield." Officially, she became the superintendent of Union nurses in 1864 and began obtaining camp and hospital supplies, assistants and military trains for her work on the battlefront. She practiced nursing exclusively on battlefields, experiencing firsthand the horrors of war on 16 different battlefields.

After the war, President Lincoln granted her the ability to begin a letter-writing campaign to search for missing soldiers through the Office of Correspondence.

When the Civil War ended, she traveled to Europe where she was educated about the concept of the Red Cross.

Barton brought the idea of this institution to America. She served as the president of the American National Red Cross for 22 years. Under her leadership, Barton adopted the framework of the Red Cross to fit the needs of the United States, not only during wartime but also in peacetime. During the early years of the Red Cross, the work consisted of aiding victims of the 1889 Johnstown, Pa. flood.

She retired as president at age 83 and spent her remaining years in Glen Echo, Md. where she died from complications of a cold on April 12, 1912.

Clara Barton's life was guided by two rules of action: "unconcern for what cannot be helped" and "control under pressure."

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Lincoln's Acts of Leadership: April 1862

President Abraham Lincoln vowed to preserve the Union even if it meant war, and he did so by exerting his executive authority more than any other president in U.S. history. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we're presenting details of Lincoln's acts of leadership during each month the war raged on.

On April 9, 1862, Lincoln writes Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan to explain their differences in opinion over the number of troops McClellan needed to advance on the Confederates and the number of troops needed to defend Washington, D.C. Lincoln exercises his executive authority by stating that it will require more than "twenty thousand unorganized men" to defend Washington, D.C. Lincoln tells McClellan, "The country will not fail to note - is now noting - that the present hesitation to move upon an entrenched enemy, is but the story of Manassas repeated." Lincoln adds that he supports McClellan, but notes: "And, once more let me tell you, it is indispensable to you that you strike a blow."

On April 25, 1862, U.S. Navy Secretary Gideon Welles informs Lincoln that Flag Officer David G. Farragut (USN) has captured the port of New Orleans, La.

Happy Birthday, Steve!

On behalf of the faculty and staff of The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg, we wish our own Steven B. Wiley a happy birthday this month. Steve's birthday is Monday, April 30.

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Find Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg on Pinterest


Have you heard about Pinterest? For those of you who don't know about this social networking tool, Pinterest acts like a virtual pinboard or bulletin board; you can collect, organize and share interesting items across the web. You can browse pinboards created by others or invite others to view your personal pinboard.

The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg recently acquired our own Pinterest pinboard. You can browse it at pinterest.com/lligettysburg.

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Parting Thoughts…

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
- Winston Churchill

Copyright 2012, The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg