Is Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Vince Lombardi’s coaching for excellence relevant today?

Uncategorized Oct 26, 2020


There are aspects of effective leadership that speak across time. For example, even after more than 150 years, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address still resonates. Vince Lombardi’s coaching for excellence is every bit as timely now as 50 years ago.

However, the passing of time brings with it a changing world and changing economic landscape. Would Lincoln have been able to succeed in today’s media environment? Would Lombardi’s “tough love” approach be accepted in our time? No one knows how historical figures might fare today, yet we can isolate leadership lessons that meet the needs in our time and place.

The list that follows attempts to capture enduring leadership lessons within the unique, fast-moving circumstances of the 21st century.


The GLM List.

  1. Service focus: In the Information Age, everyone is a potential relationship. A service mentality is not a choice; it is a requirement.
  2. Courage and sacrifice: Higher levels of service are the binding elements of effective leadership.
  3. Relationships: Gaining advantage in clandestine transactions cannot be the basis of a sustainable business model.
  4. Value creation: Value is not based on how hard you’ve worked, or what you think you deserve, but solely on your customer or service user judgment.
  5. Vision is the essential element of leadership.
  6. Management is part of leadership: In an age of accountability, the boss is out, the coach is in.
  7. Best in world is the only sustainable model in our connected world.
  8. Listening to others is the master skill in a relationship-based world.
  9. Influence: or the power to persuade is now as necessary a skill for corporate leaders, executives and CEOs as it is necessary for politicians.
  10. Communication skills cannot be delegated or outsourced! effective leaders must manage an ever-evolving range of communications and expectations.
  11. Collaboration: The smartest person in the room is always IN the room.
  12. Create a stimulating and self-preserving ecosystem: Have a personal board of advisors or seek out a mentor and executive coach. Search for people of accomplishment for discreet support (Hint: They may not be in the workplace).
  13. Vitality: Your physical, mental, and spiritual health constitutes the foundation of all service. Don’t hesitate to seek out support in whatever form.
  14. Intergenerational learning: What are you learning from a cross generational perspective?
  15. Resilience: Failure is inevitable. Are you able to dust yourself off and get back into the ring?
  16. Break boundaries: Don’t let the limitation of others apply to your performance.
  17. Cultivate an innovative mindset: Innovation includes failures. Today’s failure may be the basis of tomorrow’s breakthrough.
  18. Optimism and alternative mindsets spread fast; it’s a leadership decision, not a matter of a personality trait.
  19. Enthusiasm is the universal spirit that remains compelling.
  20. Relentless adaptability: The value of your service is determined by your capacity to evolve in rapidly changing circumstances.
  21. Achieve integrity: The true sum of the amount of respect you attract is not by how physically tall you are rather through the honest and reliable traits you exude.

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