Writing buddy: Kate
Writing Assignment 1
September 3, 2019
Throughout history we have been exposed to various styles of leadership. Abraham Lincoln’s methods of leading through communication and integrity juxtaposed with Hitler’s style of intimidation and aggression. These qualities of both leaders dictated whether history remembered them as successful leaders or not. History remembers Abraham Lincoln for his strong leadership during the American Civil War and his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order that freed slaves in 1863. Abe Lincoln, or “Honest Abe” as he is often referred to as, displayed the characteristics of a great leader. In contrast, Hitler is remembered as an atrocious dictator. Hitler lacked in the areas of being a good leader that Abraham excelled in.
One of the crucial characteristics of being a good leader that Abraham Lincoln obtained was having exceptional communication skills. Much of his success came from his ability to clearly convey his messages and connect with his audience. One of his most famous methods of communication was through his story telling. Lincoln was able to pull stories that the American people could relate to and that would also unite them through common experiences. Story telling gave him the ability to use pathos to persuade his audience with his sincere, empathetic, and honest personality.
A sense of integrity is also a very important part in being an influential leader. When there is a disconnect between a leaders and words and actions, the audience is less likely to become committed to them. “Honest Abe” did an exquisite job of instilling a sense of trust into his audience. People trusted him and felt confident in the decisions he was making on their behalf, so they were more willing to embrace change. More advancements and productivity, such as freeing slaves, was easier to accomplish when the country trusted that he was doing what was best for their country.
A good leader is not just born overnight, however. It takes time to develop the skills to learn how to be influential, trustworthy, and well liked. Abraham Lincoln, along with many other great leaders, had to use history as a tool to study past events and learn from other’s mistakes. Abraham Lincoln was able to reflect upon good leaders such as George Washington and James Monroe, as well as poor presidents such as James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce. Observing both the good and bad President’s that came before him helped him equally. He was able to use methods that George Washington and James Monroe used, while also avoiding the different approaches James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce used during their terms in office.
Unlike Abraham Lincoln, Hitler was remembered for his aggressive manor and dictator leadership style. Even though some could argue Hitler was a strong leader because of his persuasion, he lacked in other personality traits that ultimately led to his downfall. He was a tough leader who had a need for everything to be done his way. This created a sense of fear in the people around him. He was not capable of nurturing sympathizing with anyone. It is important for a strong leader to be able to have an equal balance between being a benevolent leader and a tough leader. Due to his incapability of treating people like humans, he cannot be considered a successful leader.
As a country we have experienced both good and bad leaders which either helped shape people like Abraham Lincoln into the strong leaders they became or led to the downfall of leaders like Hitler. Abraham Lincoln demonstrated his strong leadership skills during his term in office from 1861-1865. During his term he was able to lead the nation through the American Civil War, free slaves, and much more. He accomplished all of this by learning from other’s mistakes and successes and adapting his characteristics accordingly. Overall, he was able to make advancements in our country and become a tool for future leaders to learn from. In contrast, Hitler lacked good communication skills and did not poses a nurturing character trait. Due to these missing traits in Hitler’s personality, he was not remembered in the positive light Abraham Lincoln was. Throughout history we have experienced a wide variety of leaders. Each leader earned their reputation through the character traits they either possessed or lacked.