Quieting Critics

Ever had people lob grenades at you for what you are doing OR the way you are doing it?  That comes with the territory of being a leader.  Actually, it comes with living life!

Ryan Whitley recently blogged about a quote from Abe Lincoln.  He used it in the context of parenting.  I’d like to apply it another way… in the context of leadership and living day to day.  Here is what Dr. Whitley wrote…

President Lincoln did not always take kindly to people who were not involved in the day-to-day operation of the government making demands upon him or telling him how he should run the war effort. But, rather than harshly turning away such individuals, Lincoln would ease them out of his office with a short, appropriate anecdote.

For example, when a delegation of politicians from the West invaded his office making excited demands, he simply shut them off by responding:

Gentlemen, suppose all the property you were worth was in gold and this you had placed in the hands of (one man) to carry across the Niagara River on a rope. Would you shake the cable and keep shouting at him: “Stand up a little straighter; stoop a little more, go a little faster, go a little slower, lean a little more to the south?” No, you would hold your breath, as well as your tongue, and keep your hands off until he got safely over.

Donald T. Phillips, Lincoln on Leadership
(New York, New York: Hachette Book Group USA, 1992), pp. 90-91

Hmmm.  I think this is a quote/idea that is worth filing for later possible use!  Thank you for being an able reader Dr. Whitley (Snicker, wink).

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2 comments on “Quieting Critics

  1. Tara says:

    Nice post!! What I definitely needed to hear after this weekend. 🙂 God bless you!

  2. Ryan says:

    Ron, you surprised me with this post. It is a great story, isn’t it? And it has multiple applications. Boom!

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