How a U.S. President use newspaper clippings to lead?

The night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre, did you know he was carrying:
-Two pairs of glasses.
-A small velvet eyeglass cleaner.
-An ivory pocketknife.
-A large handkerchief with “A. Lincoln” stitched in red.
-A tiny pencil.
-A brass sleeve button.
-A fancy watch fob.
-And a brown wallet with a Confederate five-dollar bill, and eight newspaper clippings.

Today these items are on display on at the Library of Congress. The eight newspaper clippings Lincoln carried were largely positive portrayals of his leadership. The  library’s rare book and special collections division chief Mark Dimunation has been quoted to say, “that the newspaper clipping  were less proof of a president’s ego than of a man who needed reassurance.”

This is proof no matter what your title, no matter your place. Everyone needs encouragement and reassurance. You could be the CEO of the company, the janitor, the top performer, the middle performer. Encouragement  and reassurance is not only oxygen to the spirit, it’s oxygen to a culture, in this instance these newspaper clippings helped one of our country’s greatest leaders during some of the most tumultuous times in our country’s history.

The next time you feel like criticizing, condemning or complaining about someone.  I challenge you to stop and consider this, how would some encouragement and reassurance help this person? What can you do to lift  someone up vs tearing them down?  Could a handwritten note, an unexpected uplifting email be the key to creating a positive culture? You never know, when that person needs it most your note of encouragement/reassurance may be the very thing that helps that person work through the struggle just like newspaper clippings helped Abraham Lincoln. Never forget one small act of kindness can be the difference.

Equip, Educate, Empower, and Encourage others to become better leaders!

Tony Jalan

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