3
THE LEADER’S OWN STORY
Committing to the Goal
 
That a man may be scarce less ignorant of his own powers, than an oyster of its pearl, or a rock of its diamond; that he may possess dormant, unsuspected abilities, till awakened “ by loud calls, or strung up by striking emergencies, is ” evident from the sudden eruption of some men, out of perfect obscurity, into public admiration, on the strong impulse of some animating occasion, not more to the world’s great surprise than their own.
—Edward Young1
Abraham Lincoln did not begin his presidency as a transformational leader. In his first inaugural address, on February 23, 1861, Lincoln stressed his intent to maintain the status quo laid down in the U.S. Constitution. He was explicit in declaring ...

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