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May 2012
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President's MessageSteve Wiley

April was a busy month for us here at The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg, and I found myself on the road a great deal last month. Those hours spent in airports allow me to catch up on my reading, and last month, I read a great article I'd like to share with you. The article is titled "The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs," written by his biographer Walter Isaacson. It appears in the April edition of the Harvard Business Review.

Isaacson drills down on concepts that he feels allowed Jobs to transform seven different industries (personal computing, animated movies, music, phones, tablets, retail stores and digital publishing) in order to earn his spot among the nation's greatest innovators.

Here are the areas that Isaacson feels set Jobs apart:

  1. Focus - "Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do."
  2. Simplify - "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." (This quote appeared in Apple's first marketing brochure.)
  3. Take Responsibility End to End - "People are busy. They have other things to do than think about how to integrate their computers and devices." (This quote refers to Jobs' desire for a seamlessly integrated user experience.)
  4. When Behind, Leapfrog - "If we don't cannibalize ourselves, someone else will." (Here's a statement explaining how changing the iPod led to the iPhone.)
  5. Put Products Before Profits - "My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation."
  6. Don't Be a Slave to Focus Groups - "Customers don't know what they want until we've shown them."
  7. Bend Reality - "You did the impossible because you didn't realize it was impossible." (This quote comes from Debi Coleman, an original Macintosh team member.)
  8. Impute - "People do judge a book by its cover."
  9. Push for Perfection - "I want it to be as beautiful as possible, even if it's inside the box. A great carpenter isn't going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet, even though nobody's going to see it." (This quote originated from discussions on the internal design of the Macintosh.)
  10. Tolerate Only "A" Players - "I've learned over the years that when you have really good people, you don't have to baby them. By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things." (This quote refers to Jobs' reputation and perception as being rude, rough and even abusive.)
  11. Engage Face-to-Face - "Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone. You ask what they're doing. You say ‘wow,' and soon you're cooking up all sorts of ideas."
  12. Know Both the Big Picture and the Details - "Even as he was laying out these grand visions, he was fretting over the shape and color of the screws inside the iMac." (This statement is attributed to Isaacson.)
  13. Combine the Humanities with the Sciences - "No one else in our era could better firewire together poetry and processors in a way that jolted innovation." (Here's another quote from Isaacson.)
  14. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish - This was Jobs' motto excerpted from the final issue of the Whole Earth Catalog in 1971.

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did. Read on in this month's issue to learn about some work we are doing with some special ninth graders. Plus, discover interesting statistics about the Civil War death toll and much more. I'll leave you with this final quote from Steve Jobs: "Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."


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


Bringing History Lessons from The Textbook to the Battlefield

Lincoln leadership Academy Charter school Lincoln leadership Academy Charter school

This month, the top 30 student leaders from the ninth grade class at the Lincoln Leadership Academy Charter School in Allentown, Pa. traveled to Gettysburg for a hands-on leadership development experience that took lessons learned from Gettysburg beyond the history textbooks.

On May 10 and 11, the students and their teachers participated in a leadership development experience that Lincoln Leadership Institute president and founder Steve Wiley and staff offer to thousands of the nation's top executives from companies such as ExxonMobil, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and the Department of Defense and Homeland Security. Wiley offered the Gettysburg visit as a pro bono leadership development experience for the school's students. The experience was designed to relate lessons learned from the Battle of Gettysburg to the everyday challenges faced by the students.

As part of the experience, students visited the David Wills House, explored downtown Gettysburg on a walking tour and traveled to major interpretive points on the Gettysburg battlefield. The visit included an overnight stay at the Gettysburg Hotel sponsored by Wiley and hotel officials.

Focused on helping students in grades 6-9 who come from high-risk environments, the Lincoln Leadership Academy Charter School aims to provide its students with a quality education and the promise of a better life. The school's objective is to equip its students with the necessary tools they need to achieve their potential in an "at-risk" world.

"I appreciate the level of commitment from the entire team at The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg and how welcoming they have been to our students," said Sandra Figueroa-Torres, Lincoln Leadership Academy Charter School principal, CEO and founder.

View photos from the visit on The Lincoln Leadership Institute's Facebook page.

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Relics Discovered in Walls at Gettysburg Seminary

Civil war relic discovered

Photo courtesy: (Hanover) Evening Sun

Crews working on the renovation of Schmucker Hall on the campus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg have uncovered some interesting and surprising items stashed in the walls of the historic structure.

Letters from Civil War soldiers, bottles of sarsaparilla and a plaster relief of Martin Luther from the 1800s were just some of the objects crews have found. But perhaps the most unusual items located to date have been four men's shoes found in the walls of one of the building's dormitory rooms.

When renovations are completed in 2013, the 180-year-old Schmucker Hall will become the home of a new Gettysburg Civil War museum called the Seminary Ridge Museum. Exhibits in the new museum will tell the stories associated with the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Civil War medical practices, religious life in the 1860s era and African-American culture during the Civil War. The opening of the museum will coincide with the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Read more about the lore behind the shoes and the significance of other relics crews found while renovating Schmucker Hall.

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Historian Recalculates Civil War Death Toll

New research suggests that the Civil War was far deadlier than Americans were led to believe. After examining scores of digitized census data, Dr. J. David Hacker, a demographic historian at Binghamton University in New York, has recalculated the Civil War death toll, estimating that 750,000 lives were lost in the 1860s era conflict. This figure reflects a 20 percent increase from a centuries-old figure of 618,222.

Historian Eric Foner of Columbia University calls the new figure a milestone in the advancement of the understanding of the Civil War. "It further elevates the significance of the Civil War and makes a dramatic statement about how the war is a central moment in American history. It helps you understand, particularly in the South with a much smaller population, what a devastating experience this was," he said.

Hacker stated he relied on newly available census data provided by the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota as one of the sources for his efforts.

Learn more about Hacker's research and the process he used to recalculate the death toll from The New York Times.

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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 Jared Peatman discusses how symbols can influence our attitudes and perceptions about life, others, ourselves and the world around us.

Submitted by: Jared Peatman

A few weeks ago, the Museum of the Confederacy opened a new branch in Appomattox, Va. The museum decided not to fly a Confederate flag outside and took a fair amount of heat from the Sons of Confederate Veterans for that choice. Psychologists explain that symbols mean much more to humans than words do, and few symbols have been as polarizing in this country as the Confederate flag.

Several years ago, the museum's historian, John Coski, wrote an excellent work on the Confederate battle flag and its long, controversial history. But much of that history is actually fairly recent. Coski reveals that the flag was rarely seen in public between the end of the Civil War and World War II, and that veterans continually tried to limit the uses and displays of the flag.

In fact, many of the state capitals that eventually took down the flags in the 1990s did not begin flying them until the 1960s-partially to commemorate the Civil War Centennial, but also in protest of the Civil Rights Movement. In Alabama, for example, George Wallace ordered the Confederate flag raised over the capitol building on the same day he met with Attorney General Robert Kennedy to discuss the integration of the University of Alabama.

In What the Dog Saw (Little, Brown and Company, 2009), Malcolm Gladwell reveals that we typically make judgments about people and places we encounter for the first time within two seconds! When someone enters your work space, what messages do you think they pick up in those two seconds? Are they intentional messages or unintentional ones? If you had the opportunity, which symbols would you replace, and with what would you use to replace them?

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Lincoln's Acts of Leadership: May 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 May 10, 1862, Lincoln discovers that Union troops under the command of Col. Joseph B. Carr and Gen. Joseph K. Mansfield were not taking part in the attack on Norfolk, Va. According to Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Being for the Most Part Contributions by Union and Confederate Officers (T. Yoseloff, 1956), Lincoln is so infuriated by this lack of response that he bounces his tall hat off the floor and takes command of dictating orders involving these troops.

On May 24, 1862, Lincoln devotes much of the day to work in the telegraph office, directing Union troop movements under Maj. Gen. John C. Freemont and Gen. Irvin McDowell in consequence of Gen. Nathaniel Banks' critical position resulting from a Confederate breakthrough at Fort Royal, Va. In a dispatch to Freemont, Lincoln wrote, "The exposed condition of General Banks makes his immediate relief a point of paramount importance. You are therefore directed by the President to move against Jackson at Harrisonberg and operate against the enemy in such way as to relieve Banks. This movement must be made immediately. You will acknowledge the receipt of this order and specify the hour it is received by you."

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Copyright 2012, The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg