A Capital Semester Presidential Leadership Journey: Lincoln’s Cottage

Written by Matt Phister – Coordinator, Capital Semester | Leadership & the American Presidency – Fall | Legal Studies Institute

The second stop on the Capital Semester students’ ‘presidential tour’ was a visit to President Lincoln’s Cottage. The students had the opportunity to learn more about the experiences and struggles that shaped his presidency within the larger context of the Civil War.LC 5 (2)

What did you learn about President Lincoln and his leadership from visiting Lincoln’s Cottage:

“I learned that Lincoln relied on people that did not agree with him and used them to test his ideas. This idea of not using “yes men” shows that Lincoln wanted his ideas to be well rounded and appeal to the majority of people. Lincoln saw the criticism coming from his advisers and used that to improve his ideas.” – Patrick Dupeire, Flagler College, Internship: The Dershowitz Group  LC 1 (2)
“Lincoln’s cottage shows that while he was a great man, he still was human and made mistakes.” – Patrick Dupeire, Flagler College, Internship: The Dershowitz Group 

LC 4 (2)“At Lincoln’s cottage, I learned that he chose advisers that weren’t agreeable or loyal to him in the beginning, and he turned that initial animosity into teamwork by making his advisers feel valuable and respected. I think Lincoln understood, and now I understand, that a leader must have both the ability to think about proposed solutions and ideas on their own merit, and the ability to care for other’s personal feelings, goals, and aspirations to yield.” – Erika Stablow, Irvine Valley College, Internship: Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

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