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Lincoln used to have ordinary people come into his office in the morning and just talk to him about what they wanted. And he’d listen to their family discussions. And after a while, his secretaries said to him,“Mr. President, you don’t have time for these ordinary people.” He said, “You’re wrong. I must never forget the popular assemblage from which I have come.”
So Teddy Roosevelt took whistle stop tours on a train six weeks in the spring and in the fall, and he went to places where he’d been defeated as well as places where he had won.
“When [Lincoln] was upset with somebody, he would write what he called a ‘hot letter,’ where he would write it all down. He would put it aside until his emotions cooled down and then write ‘never sent, never signed."
This restrain became a staple of all great politicians, Obama being known for practicing the method.
Is a pyramid of behavior analogous to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, based on a leadership study by McKinsey.
In our hierarchy, some kinds of behavior are always essential. As organizational health improves, quartile to quartile, additional behaviors become apparent.
Mose, a famous NY public works commissioner, pursued immoral or at least questionable actions (such as letting the political bosses and their friends profit from inside information) to accomplishpublic good, including the creation of Jones Beach.
The problem of getting things done in a world of imperfect people and ambiguous choices—a reality that confronts many people in many sectors.
Johnson took what he called a “nothing job,” assistant majority leader (also known as the whip) in the Senate, and turned it into a power base. The fundamental idea: work diligently to create resources that are useful to others and assiduously build relationships, even with enemies. He used resources, flattery anything that was needed.
Johnson was so helpful that after the 1954 election, he became the youngest majority leader in history.
Some of the most successful and admired leaders—for example, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy—were above all pragmatists, willing to do what was necessary to achieve important objectives.
And usually pragmatism means they are not bound by strict morality boundaries, something that Machiavelli noted in his book The Prince.