“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

– Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

539Image from Flickr by dustpuppy.

One of the challenges facing some of my business and executive coaching clients is the issue of internal conflicts and the lack of alignment within their organizations’ leadership and management ranks.

You can imagine the energy drains and loss of momentum that result when these groups don’t focus their collective efforts on their customers, markets, and even their competition.

Exercise:

What efforts could you take to align and unify your organization, communities, and even your family, to stand together to fully realize your collective goals?

Through these efforts, you will not only become one, you may even experience synergy, when the results achieved are far greater than the sum of each part.

“Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”

“Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”

– Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

533Image from Flickr by Dhinal Chheda.

Whenever the subject of great presidents comes up, Lincoln is almost always included. As part of The Quotable Coach series, I have quoted him more than any other president.

Daniel Day Lewis won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of this remarkable leader in the 2012 movie Lincoln. Of particular note was Lincoln’s ability to be tactful in working with members of both parties during some of our country’s most challenging times.

Exercise:

How can you use the ability to better “describe others as they see themselves” to demonstrate greater tactfulness and build stronger relationships in your professional and personal life?

Consider renting Lincoln to allow you to observe Lincoln’s mastery for yourself.

“I don’t know who my grandfather was; I’m much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.”

“I don’t know who my grandfather was; I’m much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.”

– Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

516Image from Flickr by Aleksandr Zykov.

I’ve always been fascinated by the theories of evolution and natural selection – the work of Darwin and others concerning how various plants and animal species adapt to their environment.

Clearly we all live in very different times from our grandparents. I’m sure many of their characteristics and traits were passed on to us through our parents. What if we had no perspective on this lineage? What if we only had our current environments to navigate?

Exercise:

How can you optimize your own qualities and talents in today’s world, to be all you can be?

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

– Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

One of my philosophies of life is that what we do each day and who we do it with determines our satisfaction in the moment and manifests our future.

Consider yourself as a gardener, where each day you sow the seeds of success in your professional and personal world, and take care to water and weed your crop throughout the growing season to reap the harvest of a better future.

Exercise:

Take particular note of the daily behaviors and habits that are contributing to a better future.

Recognize where some of your daily efforts or lack of action are creating a less than desirable future and know that it’s not too late to start over tomorrow – because the future, as Lincoln suggests, comes one day at a time.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any [other] one thing.”

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any [other] one thing.”

– Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

One of the questions I ask all of my coaching clients is, “What makes someone an excellent coach?”

People often include such attributes as:

  • Superior listening skills
  • Genuine caring
  • Diversity of expertise and experience
  • Optimism
  • Integrity
  • Commitment

Although all great qualities, this question – which happens to be a trick – has very little to do with the coach. The critical factor is you or in this case, the person being coached.

As Lincoln points out, your resolution to succeed and willingness to do the work is paramount to achieving your goals.

Exercise:

Assess how strong your resolution is to pursue and achieve greater results in your personal and professional life. What added support do you require from within and from those around you to ensure your success?

#97: “It has been my observation that people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

– Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

Could it be that simple? Can we just make the choice to be happy?

We have all heard stories of people with great beauty, talent, and financial wealth who are miserable. We are also aware of entire societies where people have very limited worldly possessions, yet live joyful lives.

What’s the secret? Can we actually be the architects of our own happy lives?

Abraham Lincoln refers to the word “mind” as the source. Today, there’s the entire field of positive psychology to explore this in great detail.

Exercise:

Consider purchasing a copy of Martin Seligman’s book Authentic Happiness or Tal Ben-Shahar’s book Happier, and make up your own mind.

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.

#40: “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count…”

“…It’s the life in your years.”

– Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States

Are you a quality person or a quantity person? Would you rather have a single dip of premium ice cream or a half-gallon of the store brand?

How does this idea pertain to our experience of life itself?

We’ve all heard stories of people who lived into their 90s or even to 100, or a marriage lasting 60 years. Were they quality years?

Consider which things, experiences, and lessons along life’s journey make it a quality one for you.

Exercise:

What do you need to start, or do more of, to make each moment a premium moment?

What can you stop doing, or do less of, to make room for the added life in your years?

What does your bucket list look like?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.