Episode 33: Leadership Lessons from Lincoln

Steven Rogstad Headshot.png

We sometimes think we have things so rough. Our 16th President was probably one of the most revered and the most hated figures by his contemporaries. Abraham Lincoln was elected by what was then the lowest plurality in an American election to date. The country was disintegrating, military leaders and cabinet members questioned his leadership, and there were numerous threats on his life. In spite of it all, Lincoln’s approach to managing people and circumstances fostered innovation and engagement. Lincoln developed and used his amazing talent for Coaching and public Speaking. He kept people in his organization engaged while delivering at the most challenging news at often the most challenging of times. His methods for providing feedback to wayward subordinates would be the envy of any leader anywhere. We would do well to learn from his experiences the next time we are frustrated because something that was supposed to happen didn’t or a colleague let us down.


Steve Rogstad is an author, speaker, instructor and lifelong student of Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Rogstad taught college courses on Lincoln, and has served as editor for the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin and the Lincoln Herald journal of Lincoln Memorial University. He wrote introductions to The Gettysburg Soldiers’ Cemetery and Lincoln’s Address by Frank L. Klement (1993) and The Limits of Dissent: Clement L. Vallandigham and the Civil War by Frank L. Klement (1998). He was co-editor for The Many Faces of Lincoln (1997) and edited/ introduced Lincoln’s Critics: The Copperheads of the North by Frank L. Klement (1999). He is the author of Companionship in Granite: Celebrating the Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln Monument (1998), and Racine’s Lincoln Legends: Laying Three Myths to Rest (2014). In April 2008 Mr. Rogstad was appointed by Governor James Doyle to the Wisconsin Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Phone: 262-412-2511 Email stevenrogstad@yahoo.com