Issue 65

Happy New Year!   I hope this will be your best year ever.

Here’s my latest.  I hope you can find the time to look at it and share your always wonderfully helpful feedback.

I’ve found the time to get lots of reading done, which has been a special treat.

And you’ve had a bit of a break.  I hope it’s been good for you.   Hugs

A Unique Publication for Leaders     Gene Griessman, Ph.D. Editor
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“Some people say, ‘How can an actor be president of the United States?’ but I don’t see how you can be president if you aren’t an actor.’”  –Ronald Reagan to Katherine Graham (KATHERINE GRAHAM’S WASHINGTON, 2002: 582)

“This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.  So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.  In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory….”   –Franklin Delano Roosevelt  First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933.   This was the last of the March 4 Inaugurations; ever since they have taken place on January 20.)

“Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort….”
–Franklin Delano Roosevelt,  First Inaugural Address

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
–Shakespeare 1564-1616    “Twelfth Night”

“For we alone regard the man who takes no part in public affairs, not as one who minds his own business, but as good for nothing.”
“We Athenians decide public questions for ourselves or at least endeavor to arrive at a sound understanding of them, in the belief that it is not debate which is a hindrance to action, but rather not to be instructed by debate before the time comes for action.”
–Pericles (Athenian general, 495-425 B.C. Funeral Oration as recorded by Thucydides)

***Our Personal Future
“We are always becoming what we are. Our destiny is within us.” –Gene Griessman

“There’s a big difference between looking at something and seeing something.”    –Gene Griessman

***Wrong-headed Decision
“Only one thing is worse than making a stupid decision, and that’s defending a stupid decision.”  –Gene Griessman

***Accepting Responsibility
“All classes are ready enough, without prompting, to believe that whatever ails them is not their fault, but the crime of somebody else.”  –John Stuart Mill (English philosopher and economist who lived during the time of Lincoln,1806-1873)

*** Diversity
“In essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.”
–Rupertus Meldenius, the pseudonym of Peter Meiderlin, 1582-1651, a German Lutheran minister who wrote an influential pamphlet that contained the sentence during the Thirty Years War  :  The quote is often incorrectly attributed to St. Augustine.)

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight.  It’s the size of the fight in the dog.”   –Dwight Eisenhower  (1890, 1969, 34th President of the United States)

by Margaret Leech.   I did not know about Leech or her book until I learned that the celebrated author David McCullough likes it so much that he gives copies to his friends. Leech’s book is an astonishing account of Washington (DC) during the Lincoln presidency.  Seldom have I read such elegant prose. Besides the beauty of the writing, Leech’s deep research turned up scores of little-known, fascinating details about the life and times of the 16th President.  Lincoln lovers will cherish this book.

Leech wrote novels as well, but Reveille in Washington was her triumph, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize.  In case you’re interested in purchasing the book, here’s the Amazon link:

One of the participants in my executive coaching program is a CEO who is interested in making further acquisitions.   I encouraged him to hire a researcher to create a report on J.B Fuqua, the late billionaire entrepreneur whom I interviewed several times for two of my books, THE ACHIEVEMENT FACTORS and TIME TACTICS OF VERY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE.

The following is an excerpt from that research: “’In order to get some fun out of business, you’ve got to look at it as a game. And in order to have a game, you’ve got to have a game plan. My game plan was to build a major public company by acquiring existing profitable businesses which had been developed by other people, and getting proven management along with these companies….’
Often, people attempt to purchase a company that is declining and turn it around into a profitable company.’ Fuqua operated under the reverse psychology. He said, Buying profits would be (is) faster and less risky than growing profits.’”

EXCERPT FROM THE NEW BOOK LINCOLN SPEAKS TO LEADERS, by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams, with Peggy Matthews Rose

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: “When I was young, I read a book that most people read in my day, but few read today—Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan. It’s a classic that tells the story of a lonely, resolute traveler who struggled with temptation, overcame despondency, and reached his goal. Pilgrim’s Progress became a metaphor for my life.

Great religious leaders have long taught that if you truly want something, you should act as if the object of your desire is already on its way to you. For example, if your goal is to become a lawyer, visualize yourself as a lawyer, and you will be well on your way to achieving that dream. Seeing it happen is the way to make it happen.

During the War, I wrote a personal letter to a college student who was a friend of my son Robert. His grades were bad, he was discouraged, and he was considering dropping out of college. In that letter I said, ‘You cannot fail if you resolutely determine that you will not.’

This principle may sound too mystical for you, and some of the things that happen to you after you will something into existence may seem uncanny. But I assure you that this principle has practical, down-to-earth applications.”

PAT WILLIAMS: “This is a message I believe in wholeheartedly. I’ve seen it happen time after time after time. Why do homerun hitters drive the ball into the bleacher seats? Because they see it happen before the wood connects with the leather…

Jim Brown, the legendary Cleveland Browns running back, was the first athlete I ever heard talk about visioning this way. The night before games he would think about what he wanted to accomplish, picture it as if he’d already done it. When game time came, his mission was already half accomplished. Because he’d seen himself successful, the doing of it was simply the living out of history.

Mark Price, who is among the greatest free throw shooters in NBA history, constantly visualized the ball going into the basket in advance of the games. After repeatedly playing the scene over and over in his mind, by game time it was all automatic.”
–Adapted from Chapter Six: “Success Comes From Within”

(LINCOLN SPEAKS TO LEADERS is now available at Amazon and at  Substantial discounts are available at this site for this book bundled with our favorite books, CDs and DVDs.  If you’d like multiple copies for your organization or for gifts, contact us at 404-256-5927)

“A unique and fascinating examination of how the life and lessons of our greatest president are more relevant than ever for leaders of our own troubled time.  LINCOLN SPEAKS TO LEADERS is inspiring, engaging, and a sure-fire best-seller.”

“This book on Abraham Lincoln’s leadership style is loaded with great material.  The wisdom and insights in this book by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams are incredible.  I will be recommending this book to coaches and players.”
–Jack Del Rio, Head Coach, Jacksonville Jaguars

This spring I will be doing a Lincoln presentation for a national conference on family relationships.  The chairperson of that conference asked me to provide attendees with learning objectives.  Here they are–five words Lincoln lived by in his relations with political constituents and acquaintances, with friends and family:
AMIABILITY: Be pleasant and approachable; avoid allowing arguments to grow into quarrels.
CHEERFULNESS: Take the long view when things look dark.  Do not spread gloom.  Learn how to become victorious over depression.
MAGNANIMITY: Be generous in thought and deed.  Avoid pettiness.
COURTESY: Give to others the respect that you crave for yourself.
COMMUNICATION: Learn to communicate clearly, effectively, and wisely.

For these troubled economic times, here’s a valuable resource you can use for your important presentations.  If you’ve ever purchased training films, you already know that they can cost hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.   You can obtain “Lincoln on Communication” for just a fraction of these costs.  Our $120 package includes a soundtrack, a time-coded video, and a teacher/trainer’s guide plus a complimentary set of MemCards.  It’s designed so that you can show it as a stand-alone presentation or an excerpt as a part of your own presentation.

Order your copy with absolutely no risk.  Your satisfaction is guaranteed.  And we pay the shipping.


“I received your book (The Words Lincoln Lived By) and have skimmed it to date.  But I came across my 12-year-old son with it in his room!”–Tom Peterson

“The Lincoln presentation was like walking back in time.  Wise words from a wise President.”  –Andy Sanfilippo  CEO,   Team JAS

“It was wonderful!  I felt like I was back in time with the real Abe!”  –Cathy Hall, administrative assistant, Ellis Associates

“The humor in this presentation makes history a fun lesson to learn.  –-Judy Jimmerson, Career Services Director, Albany Tech

From the Evaluations

“I enjoyed the personalization of history—Lincoln as a man, not a deity.  EXCELLENT!  I forgot that I was listening in the 21st century—through hearing nuggets of value in any century.”

“Exceptional points made in this session.  Appreciate the information and will use it in my teaching.  –HR Mgr

“All was fantastic—loved the way he integrated today’s issues that I face!  Great job!”  –Credit union VP

“Excellent and very relevant…and entertaining all in one.”

“The entire presentation was captivating, awesome.  I specifically enjoyed how Pres Lincoln applied his life lessons to current times.”

“Those who feel they are always in some classroom of life will always love you.”  –Career Center manager