Monthly Archives: August 2011

Former Lincoln Institute students to present at conference

Cindy Bowman and Kelli Welborn, both of whom completed dissertations on Lincoln’s leadership style under Dr. Charles Hubbard’s direction in LMU’s Ed.D. program, will present some of their findings at this year’s LEAD Conference in Nashville, TN on September 20 at 8:00 A.M.  The conference is held by the state’s Department of Education.  Their presentation will focus on Lincoln’s leadership characteristics as they apply to individuals working in practical fields like education and business.

This blog posted interviews with Bowman and Welborn about their graduate research earlier this summer.  You can access these interviews by clicking here and here.

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Lincoln’s assassination to be part of Israeli civics curriculum

Israel’s Education Ministry is revising the civics curriculum to include material on political corruption and violence, according to Ynet News.  Students “will study the social and political consequences of assassinating world leaders and political personalities” such as Lincoln and Gandhi.

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Nassir Ghaemi on leadership and mental illness looks at Nassir Ghaemi’s new book on leadership and mental illness, mentioned on this blog earlier this month.  Lincoln is one of the historical figures included in Ghaemi’s study.

Ghaemi says a lot of research shows that there are some benefits to mania and depression.

“Creativity and resilience is higher in people with mania and realism and empathy is higher in people with depression compared to normal subjects,” he says. “The problem often with mentally healthy, average leaders is — even though they’re not weak in the sense of not having any of these qualities — they often don’t have enough to meet the very high demands of crises.”

Ghaemi explains that one of the reasons mentally healthy people might actually have a disadvantage when trying to navigate a crisis is that most of the time, the average person has what psychologists call a “mild positive illusion.”

“We think that we’re slightly more intelligent, slightly better looking, than we really are,” Ghaemi says. “We tend to overestimate our control over our environment. And that can be quite fine under normal circumstances. That may actually help us to get more done because of that confidence, but a political leader needs to be realistic rather than just optimistic for the sake of optimism.”

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Obama draws fire for comparing himself to Lincoln

From The Daily Caller:

President Barack Obama said yesterday in Decorah, Iowa, that he absorbs more political criticism than Abraham Lincoln, the assassinated 16th U.S. president, attracted from his Civil War critics.

The comment came during a question-and-answer session where one invited audience member asked Obama how he deals with his congressional critics in the GOP. “The Congress doesn’t seem to be a good partner. You said so yourself, they’re more interested in seeing you lose than [seeing] the country win,” the questioner lamented.

“Democracy is always a messy business in a big country like this,” Obama responded. “When you listen to what the federalists said about the anti-federalists … those guys were tough. Lincoln, they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me.”

Lincoln’s critics were exceptionally vitriolic and numerous, so the comparison has drawn criticism.  The article quotes historian Eric Foner, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Fiery Trial.

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Lincoln losing his holiday?

Frank Wolf, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia, wants to remove Lincoln from Presidents Day to focus solely on George Washington:

Back in 1971, Congress switched Washington’s Birthday holiday from his birthdate, Feb. 22, to the third Monday in February and it evolved into being called “Presidents Day.” The day now celebrates both Washington’s birthday and President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday which is Feb. 12.

“Today, however, his birthday has become simply a time for many to celebrate a three-day weekend,” Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) said in a news release. “We need to change the focus from celebrating sales at the mall to celebrating the significance of Washington’s birth to the birth of our nation.”

Wolf, who represents portions of Fairfax County but not the Mount Vernon area, is leading the charge in Congress to have the watered-down holiday changed to Washington’s Birthday and celebrated on the first president’s actual birthday of Feb. 22.

(No word on whether anyone from Illinois is pushing for a similar holiday for Lincoln.)


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Knoxville News Sentinel reviews LMU history

Click here to read a review of Lincoln Memorial University and the Shaping of Appalachia, the study of LMU’s early years by Dr. Earl Hess.  The book examines the relationship between the college and the surrounding region, as well as the ways the founders invoked Lincoln’s legacy to generate support for the institution.

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Does mental illness produce good leaders?

Nassir Ghaemi, a psychiatrist who also holds a BA in history, argues that mental illness can actually give leaders an advantage in managing crisis situations in his new book, A First-Rate Madness.  Lincoln is one of the examples discussed in the book, drawing on the widely-accepted theory that he suffered from depression.

You can read an advance review of Ghaemi’s book at the Boston Globe‘s website.

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