What LINCOLN Taught Us About Business (And Life)

Today, February 12th, is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, which brings me to LINCOLN the movie. I had high expectations due to some of the names involved: Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones — and the trailer looked intriguing. But WOW, was I blown away.

While reflecting on the movie afterward, I realized that there were some interesting takeaways I could apply to my business, and even my life.

Lincoln contemplating history

  • Seize the moment While some shy away from critical decisions and important moments, Abraham Lincoln (portrayed so eloquently by Daniel Day-Lewis) was proud to be a part of history. He knew that abolishing slavery was going to be a moment that changed our country’s future, which only made him want to pass the 13th amendment even more — despite the law’s unpopularity at the time. Lincoln knew the amendment was necessary for the country to reunite, heal and move forward together. Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to make the decision that everything hinges on or step into the spotlight. Live in the moment.  

“We’re stepped upon the world’s stage now with the fate of human dignity in our hands. Blood’s been spilled to afford us this moment.”

-Abraham Lincoln

  • Cast your characters well LINCOLN, the movie, was cast perfectly. I’ve already mentioned Day-Lewis, who should win an Oscar, and Tommy Lee Jones played the powerful Thaddeus Stevens perfectly. Sally Fields was so elegant, yet human, as Mary Todd Lincoln, and the list goes on. Takeaway: Choose the people around you carefully. Hire people for your business who fit into your culture, think for themselves and have the necessary skills, not only the latter. Associate yourself with people who bring you up, not tear you down.

Daniel Day-Lewis as LINCOLN

  • Be yourself in everything you do. One of the reasons I love LINCOLN so much is that the characters are portrayed as human. You see their strengths and their weaknesses, what ultimately drives them and what they’re willing to compromise on. Takeaway: You are unique and bring value to your business, life, social circle, etc. When you’re transparent, people become more comfortable with you. That’s when they buy from you, work with you, spend time with you and develop relationships with you.

Have you seen LINCOLN? What are your thoughts?

What other movie(s) made you think about your life or business?

Will LINCOLN win Best Picture? Daniel Day-Lewis best actor?

Chime in!

Happy birthday, Abe!

Image credits: LINCOLN the movie

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