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Abraham Lincoln: Leadership at a glance


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neal huffman


Born in log cabin. Jeffersonian agrarianism. Subsistence farming. Little $$ in trade.

Abe wanted to read and to learn. Took upon himself to do this. Child labor essential.

Abe wanted a better life. Subsistence farming unsatisfactory.

Constantly read. Engaged in politics, courts, clubs, and social storytelling.

Self taught. Mainly law. Attended courts, read Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Indiana Revised Statutes. Law books.

Personal experiences: labor, learning, slavery, infrastructure.

New Salem on his own. Earned extreme reputation for honesty and reliability.

New Salem dwindles. New opportunity in Springfield.

Losses: Mother Nancy, sister Sarah, cousins.


1832 runs for legislature. 1834 Assemblyman. Meets Stephen A. Douglas.

1837 license to practice joins law partnership.

Continued to engage in debate societies, speeches, social interactions, anecdotist.

Travelled circuit. Sharpened political skills. Enhanced public reputation. Met people, learned issues. Common people interactions. Persuasion skills.

Mary Todd. Married, started to have children.

Became Whig leader. More reputation. Platform of banking, tariffs, economy, infrastructure, and progressive thinking.

Leadership and reputation gained national renown. Douglas debates. NY speeches.

RNC nomination. Election to Presedency.


Morals and values. Anti-slavery. Whig vision. Common people touch.

Held Republican factions together. Abolitionists to Whigs, liberal Democrats.

Democracy. Global thinking. Transformational leadership.

Honesty. Cultivated diversity, yet retained loyalty.

Domestic and international policy – laissez faire. Delegating, supporting style.

Constitutional issues, military issues, major decisions – reserved to himself. Directing style.

The Civil War. Generals; McClellan, Hooker, Meade. Coaching style.

People skill. Patience, good will, intuitive, thinking.

Emancipation. 13th Amendment



Trait “Honest Abe” Very determined.

Skills Conceptual, people HIGH. Technical – LOW.

Style Task and relationship – Civil War leader

Situational Delegating, Supporting, Coaching, Directing

Delegated to his cabinet. Coached his Generals

Contingency Leader-match. Civil War leader.

Path-Goal Achievement-oriented.

Leader-Member In-group with Generals. Out-group by merit.

Transformational Visionary. Raised motivation and morals. Role


Team Excellent monitor. Collaborative climate.

Psychodynamic Archetype – Honest Abe. Magician-leader.

Women Diversity. Herndon (boisterous, drinker).

Ethics Altruistic. Gave everything for country. Justice.

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