Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Abraham Lincoln - Failing Forward as a Leader

Have a read of this quote. What an inspiring picture of a leader who had perseverance and tenacity:

" At the age of seven, a young boy and his family were forced out of their home. The boy had to work to support his family. At the age of nine, his mother passed away. When he grew up, the young man was keen to go to law school, but had no education.
At 22, he lost his job as a store clerk. At 23, he ran for state legislature and lost. The same year, he went into business. It failed, leaving him with a debt that took him 17 years to repay. At 27, he had a nervous breakdown.
Two years later, he tried for the post of speaker in his state legislature. He lost. At 31, he was defeated in his attempt to become an elector. By 35, he had been defeated twice while running for Congress. Finally, he did manage to secure a brief term in Congress, but at 39 he lost his re-election bid.
At 41, his four year old son died. At 42, he was rejected as a prospective land officer. At 45, he ran for the Sentate and lost. Two years later, he lost the vice presidential nomination. At 49, he ran for the Senate and lost again.
At 51, he was elected the President of the United States of America.
The man in question: Abraham Lincoln."   ~ Author Unknown.

What a picture of perseverance. What a picture of patience. I would find myself frustrated and broken, but for Abraham the ability to stand back up and make a difference, is admirable. Political agendas aside, you understand someone who had plenty of leadership knocks (what John C. Maxwell would call 'Failing Forward') but was able to persevere as a leader.

Let us aspire to have that heart for 'continuing on' when times are tough, and when all seems hopeless and useless. Maybe, we are simply developing into the leaders that God intends for us, and these setbacks are actually lifting us to another level.

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