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June 2012
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President's MessageSteve Wiley

Are women better leaders than men? That’s the question that researchers Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman recently asked in a Harvard Business Review blog posting. 

Using 360 evaluations obtained from surveying peers, bosses and direct reports of leaders, Zenger and Folkman, in turn, queried 7,280 leaders in both public and private ventures about 16 leadership competencies. These competencies are ones that Zenger and Folkman have identified as integral to overall leadership effectiveness as a result of their 30 years of study. Here are some of their findings:

  • The majority of leaders are still men (64 percent).
  • There are more men in supervisory roles than women (78 percent of top managers are men).
  • Women scored higher in 12 of the 16 leadership competencies than their male counterparts.
  • Two of the traits where women outscored men to the highest degree are those traditionally thought of as “male” strengths—taking initiative and driving for success.
  • When asked why female colleagues rated so highly on these two competencies, the responses from women centered on feeling that they were discriminated against or held a more tenuous position in the workforce than their male colleagues.

You can read the findings from the report in this blog posting.

As you can imagine, these statistics produced a dramatic response from blog readers—both male and female. So, in the end, what do these researchers conclude about their findings?

“It is high time to put our notions of gender roles in the workplace to rest. Women excel when given the opportunity. And so do men, particularly when they, too, feel the need to prove themselves in nontraditional roles. The good news about this research isn’t that women are better than men. It’s that both men and women can develop their leadership skills and abilities, and no area need be reserved for one or the other. What it takes to develop great leaders, whether male or female, is their own willingness to develop, being given opportunities to grow through challenging job assignments, and support through mentoring and coaching from senior leaders.”

We couldn’t agree more! What is your reaction to this study? Do you agree with its findings? We would love to hear about your experiences—both about being a female leader and interacting with them.

Read on in this month’s edition to learn more about a project to investigate Lincoln and his writings, core beliefs of “extraordinary” bosses and highlights of the great events happening this month in Gettysburg as part of the fifth annual Gettysburg Festival.

 

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

www.gettysburgleadership.com

Are You an Extraordinary Boss?

We at The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg recently discovered a thought-provoking article written by Geoffrey James of Inc. magazine, “8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses.” James interviewed several of the world’s most successful CEOs to find out more about their unique management style in their respective companies. Take a moment to read James’ article and offer your thoughts on the subject. Do you agree with these beliefs? Are there others that were overlooked? Share your comments on our Facebook page.

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Civil War Reenactors Through the Lens of the 1860s

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Photograph Courtesy: Richard Barnes/National Geographic

In the June issue of National Geographic, photographer Richard Barnes captured modern Civil War reenactors using traditional Civil War-era photographic techniques. The result is a photo collage of modern images in the style of 1860s photography. View the image collection on the National Geographic website.

 

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Sword Replaced at Lincoln’s Tomb

A piece of history has been returned to the final resting place of President Abraham Lincoln.

Last month, Chicago sculptor Marshall Svendsen and his assistant Loc Hong installed a bronze-filled replica of a 3-foot copper sword that had been mounted on Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery. The original sword, which had been stolen from the tomb late last fall, was found shattered in two pieces when police recovered the object.

Find out how Svendsen created the replica sword from this Chicago Tribune report.

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Technology Could Uncover Anonymous Lincoln Writings

A $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities could help researchers demystify some anonymous writings that have been loosely attributed to President Abraham Lincoln. The grant money will be applied to stylometric computer programs that will be used by the Papers of Abraham Lincoln to verify writings purportedly penned by Lincoln in the Sangamo Journal from 1834-1842—the period Lincoln served in the Illinois state legislature.

“We’ll identify a series of letters to the editor or contributions with either no name attached or where a pseudonym—‘A Conservative,’ or something like that—is used,” Daniel Stowell, director and editor of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, said. “The Sangamo Journal is clearly his home paper, so that’s the logical place to start.”

Find out more about stylometrics and the project in this report from The State Journal-Register.

“How Lincoln Used Words to Get His Way”

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Photograph Courtesy: Basic Books

President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address has made its way into a new book devoted to the rhetorical analysis of historical personalities. In Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama (Basic Books, 2012), author Sam Leith analyzes the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s rhetorical style.

“His special distinction as a speaker was not to deliver the full-bore, self-consciously Greco-Roman ornamentation of his predecessors. It was to tame those techniques—to yoke classical figures to a crisply vernacular style, and to offset his intermittent stylistic flourishes with a folksy swoop down to a register where he all but claps the individual audience member on the shoulder,” Leith said.

Read an excerpt from Leith’s commentary about Lincoln online.

Gettysburg Festival Opens Fifth Season with the Blues

Gettysburg Festival

The fifth annual Gettysburg Festival—a 10-day celebration of American arts, culture and cuisine—kicked off in Gettysburg with a blues-themed weekend, June 8-9. Highlights of the opening weekend included a performance by the Robert Cray Band on Friday, June 8 and an Americana classic trio of Blues, Beer & BBQ featuring Shemekia Copeland on Saturday, June 9.

Tickets are available for events running June 15-17. Learn more information about the Gettysburg Festival’s more than 100 scheduled events on the Festival’s website and in the official program guide.  

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Lincoln's Acts of Leadership: June 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 June 10, 1862, President Lincoln transmits to Congress a treaty with Great Britain seeking suppression of the African slave trade between the two countries.

On June 15, 1862, President Lincoln writes to Union Gen. John C. Fremont, discussing Gen. Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s “game” to keep “our troops” (the Union forces) away from Richmond. Lincoln states that it is “our game” (the Union objective) not to allow this to take place.

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Copyright 2012, The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg