Abraham Lincoln is a great man and will probably remain a great man for many many centuries for just this one quality – his ability to separate his like or dislike for a person to influence his judgement of his competence. There is probably no other President in American history who was criticised, denounced, hated and double-crossed than Lincoln.
Yet Lincoln, according to Herndon’s classic biography, “never judged men by his like or dislike for them. If any given act was to be performed, he could understand that his enemy could do it just as well as anyone. If a man had maligned him or been guilty of personal ill-treatment, and was the fittest man for the place, Lincoln would give him that place, just as soon as he would give it to a friend…….. I do not think he ever removed a man because he was his enemy or because he disliked him.”
Just think of the biggest challenge in the corporate world – letting competent and good people flourish !! Most leaders are led by their emotions, likes and dislikes. The true leader focusses on the task to be performed and finds the most competent person to do it, irrespective of his/her personal equation with the colleague. It’s wishful thinking that we will have Abraham Lincoln walk the hallways of our offices … But why not ? Just a little courage and confidence in one’s ability is all that is needed. Btw the other way of saying this is hire people better than you – always.
Have a great day !