Lincoln Leadership Institute

About the Lincoln Leadership Institute — Civil War history becomes a metaphor, and the battlefield a classroom at the Lincoln Leadership Institute, an organization dedicated to serving as a resource for individuals, teams and organizations who find themselves having to perform or produce in a stressful and rapidly changing environment with limited resources and limited information. It was founded by Steven B. Wiley — an entrepreneur, author, and highly acclaimed speaker who has influenced and entertained tens of thousands of top executives from around the world — he leads organizations toward unprecedented success by developing leaders at all levels.

How Inkandescent PR Helps — Hundreds of C-level executives and managers attend the Journeys program, then go back to their offices with renewed energy and a common purpose. Inkandescent helps even more leaders understand the power of this approach to team building by helping upadate a quarterly newsletter, write press releases based on articles, and reach out to reporters eager to learn about Wiley’s secret.


If you are feeling stressed at this very moment, raise your hand. I’m guessing that if you are a “Type A” personality, as many leaders are, your hand — at least metaphorically — is up.

Now take a deep breath and relax because a new study published in the January issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests “One Type A Characteristic Lowers Stress.” — Read that article here.

Here’s how: Taina Hintsa and her colleagues at the University of Helsinki analyzed the relationship between Type A behavior and work stress in 752 Finnish workers. They broke Type A behavior into four areas — leadership, aggression, being “hard-driving,” and eagerness-energy.

Although these characteristics were linked to “effort-reward imbalance” — a key contributor to work stress—executives who scored high in terms of their leadership skills actually had lower work stress. And the reason seems obvious once you hear it. Researchers found that leaders have both high work effort and high work reward. They also believe that leaders have high job control and that that may help alleviate work stress.

So I encourage you to embrace your leadership skills and lower your stress level. My bet is that when you do, it’ll not only lower your own stress — but will improve the work environment for everyone in your office.

Read on in this month’s newsletter to learn about our work with the Lincoln Leadership Academy, how President Lincoln has become a fan of Twitter, and mark your calendar for some upcoming important dates.

Here’s to a great 2010!

Steven B. Wiley, president & founder
The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg,


E-NEWSLETTER: December News from the Lincoln Leadership Institute — Is there JOY in your workplace?

Happy holidays from all of us here at the Lincoln Leadership Institute! Gettysburg is looking very festive these days—especially when it’s iced with our first snowfalls of the year.

The holiday season is truly one of joy. In fact, this idea of “what is joy,” has been on my mind lately—not only as we get ready to celebrate the holidays, but also as it correlates to the workplace.

What does joy have to do with the workplace—especially this year, when so many organizations have struggled with our challenging economy? According to a recent Gallup Healthways survey of 100,000 Americans, joy has everything to do with happiness in the workplace for business owners out-rank 10 other occupations in overall wellbeing. Leaders, in fact, say they have lower stress levels and better physical health than those in other occupations.

One possible explanation, according to Harvard professor and blogger Rosabeth Moss Kanter, is that “autonomy, influence and a sense of meaning” are all key ingredients in helping us to find joy at work. She writes “supervisors are better–off than the supervised, and entrepreneurs are the best-off of all.” While we can’t all be entrepreneurs, she suggests we can all act as leaders and project “autonomy, influence and a sense of meaning.”

I couldn’t agree more! I’m a big believer in the idea that exhibiting leadership skills is the surest route to joy at work. What a concept: Leadership can bring joy to the workplace.

Kanter offers a David Letterman style Top 10 list to find joy at work. Why not give it a try? Incorporate joy into your leadership practice. I’d love to hear the results – drop us a line at and let us know how you have shared the joy!

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

Steven B. Wiley, president and founder
Lincoln Leadership Institute


E-NEWSLETTER: November 2009, Lincoln Leadership Institute — How important is trust?

Trust. How important is that idea in your organization? Do your followers trust you? How about your customers or clients?

I’ve been thinking about how vital trust is to organizations ever since I saw the findings of the 2009 Trust Barometer, which showed that trust in business is currently at a 10-year low in the US. Interestingly, 4,475 opinion leaders in 20 countries in two age groups (25-34 and 35-64) were sampled.

The survey found that only 17% (that’s one in five respondents) said they trust what they hear from business leaders. What kind of business results are you going to get with a 17% “trust rate”? So, you ask, how can we increase trust in today’s business environment? I would suggest that we heed LLI’s faculty member General Jim Anderson’s advice about being a “vivid, living personal example” to both our followers and those who lead us.

By “being the change we want to see” I’m confident that we can boost the “trust factor” in all of our organizations and that the results will show both at the bottom line and with improved engagement. In this issue, you’ll find a follow up to the article by Lincoln Leadership Institute faculty member Bob Prosperi that we ran in last month’s newsletter. His photos are featured in the local press celebrating the important November 19 Remembrance Day.

Regards to you and yours and wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Steven B. Wiley, president and founder
Lincoln Leadership Institute


IN THE NEWS: Smart Company magazine features Steven B. Wiley in article, "Building Leaders"

NOVEMBER 2009 — An article entitled, “Building Leaders,” featuring Steve Wiley, Keynote Speaker for Frederick Leadership Speaker Series, posted today on Smart Company magazine.

Reporter Jennifer Mellace, explains that today’s economy is tough and the anxiety it fosters can be even worse. We worry about job stability. We worry about paying our bills.

“We worry about what lies ahead for not only us, but those we care about. For many, the odds seem insurmountable,” she writes. “So how, in fact, can anyone be expected to lead or forge ahead in conditions like these?”

Not only can you lead — but you can inspire those around you to be the best they can be, says Steve Wiley, president of The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg and featured speaker in January for the City of Frederick Economic Development Office’s Leadership Series.

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IN THE NEWS: 270 Inc. Business Magazine Features Steve Wiley of the Lincoln Leadership Institute

NOVEMBER 9, 2009 — In this month’s issue of 270 Inc. Business Magazine, Lincoln Leadership Institute president Steven B. Wiley explains that the secret to succeeding under challenging conditions is to get your team engaged in their efforts.

“Few people know that during the battle of Gettysburg in 1863 there were over 51,000 casualties and 10,000 dead horses within 3 days,” Wiley says. “Even fewer people realize the second day of the battle is remembered primarily for the achievement of Lt. Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain.”

In fact, Chamberlain, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery, had no special education in military strategies. What he did have was the ability to engage those around him. What he did have was a capacity for leadership, explains Wiley.

“The battle at Gettysburg is an incredible learning tool for businesses and organizations today. With many of the country’s largest companies and organizations awash against the tide of an uncertain economy, the lessons we learn from Gettysburg have a profound impact on the success of these companies.”

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E-NEWSLETTER: October News from the Lincoln Leadership Institute — THE WALL THAT HEALS

President’s Message, October 2009 — Fall has arrived in Gettysburg, bringing with it the beautiful colors of the season.These crisp cool days are a wonderful time to walk the battlefields and contemplate the leadership lessons that abound here in Gettysburg.

A quote from October 3, 1889 by Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain comes to mind:

In great deeds something abides. On great fields something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by who great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream; and lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls.

His profound words are that much more impressive when you consider that more than a century later, Budget Travel magazine has listed Gettysburg one of “8 Places Every American Should See.” Look for more information on that honor below.

In fact, we are excited to show off our fair town this month to representatives from Intervet / Schering-Plough’s animal health division, and a large group of Superintendents from our amazing national parks across the country. Their leadership teams will be joining us for our Transformational Journey from Gettysburg program.

And that’s not all that’s happening in Gettysburg.

Read on to learn more about the Pennsylvania Civil War (PACW 150), the Commonwealth’s official planning committee for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War over the next five years. The organization has a fantastic website that is packed with information, including interesting details about the lesser-known leaders of that conflict:

Additionally, below is information about The Wall That Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which Gettysburg College hosted this month. I was especially struck by the fact that we talk about how in the three days of fighting here in Gettysburg there were 51,000 casualties and the wall holds the names of a similar number — 58,000 killed or missing from a much more recent conflict.
These are both wonderful illustrations of how our nation’s history influences us today and can be a useful tool in identifying and refining our own leadership practices.

With my managing director Angela Sontheimer, I wish you a wonderful month filled with strong leadership and courage. We’ll look forward to talking to you again in November.

Steven B. Wiley
President & Founder, The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg


E-NEWSLETTER: September News from the Lincoln Leadership Institute


September has always seemed to me to be a time of new beginnings the start of cooler fall weather, the start of a new school year. This month, we were thrilled to be part of a new start for the Lincoln Leadership Academy in Allentown, Pa., where I spoke as part of the grand opening ceremony on September 8.

Joining me on stage for the inaugural day of this wonderful new charter school were Rep. Charles Dent (R-Pa.), Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Eastern University President David Black, and our very own Jim Getty, who as always did a great job portraying Abraham Lincoln.

The Lincoln Leadership Academy will provide a holistic education to 250 students in grades 6 to 9 coming from high-risk environments. We are thrilled to be one of their strategic partners. Scroll down to see some photos of the opening.

In this months e-news blast, youll also hear from faculty member Bob Prosperi, who recounts his experience leading President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in September 1978 when they were working toward the agreement that the following year, was signed as the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty at Camp David.

The dignitaries stopped in Gettysburg for a tour and history lessonand some say that their walk through the battlefield led the three men to make the new start toward finding a peaceful solution to their conflict. As we say during our Transformational Journey from Gettysburg program, you never know when a small pebble can turn into a powerful avalanche for leaders.

Read on to learn more and as always, please send your comments and questions to our managing director, Angela Sontheimer, at


E-NEWSLETTER: August News from the Lincoln Leadership Institute

Welcome to the dog days of summer! August is proving to be as hot and steamy as it was back during the Civil War. Fortunately, we have the luxury of taking some time off and escaping to a relaxing retreat for some downtime. My special place is Nantucket. The sea, the surf and island life combine to provide a unique and wonderful place to do some of the critical and proactive reflection that we talk about in our leadership program.

Did you realize that Abraham Lincoln himself had a special summer place where he retreated for reflection, peace and solace during the heat of Washington summers? Beginning in 1862, when the pressures of the war and the summer heat got to be too much, Lincoln would escape to a hilltop cottage on the grounds of the Soldier’s Home, just four miles from the White House.

There he would walk the grounds, read, and visit with soldiers. Some historians believe that he spent one-quarter of his presidency there. Now you too can visit Lincoln’s summer retreat, which was restored and opened to the public just last year. For more information visit Read on to learn more from LLI faculty member Matt Pinsker, Lincoln historian and author of a book about Lincoln’s bond with the Soldier’s Home.

I encourage you to take some time to find your own retreat for personal reflection. Maybe it is an island, or maybe like Lincoln’s it’s a grassy hill a few miles from home. Wherever your special place is, take the time to consider where your leadership practice is headed. I guarantee it will be time well spent!

Don’t forget to visit our blog at We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

Best regards, Steven B. Wiley


E-NEWSLETTER: July News from the Lincoln Leadership Institute

The summer is off to a great start here at LLI. We have enjoyed hosting several more Ohio-based teams from Pfizer and welcomed Benco Dental, members of the Inspector General community, and a team from the Office of Personal Management in our leadership program this month.

This month also marks the graduation of our Managing Director, Angela Sontheimer, from Duquesne University. Angela now holds a Masters of Leadership and Liberal Studies. Her thesis focused on viewing the Gettysburg Address through a modern coaching model to show how it functioned as a problem solving document for Lincoln and how it continues to serve as a seminal document that our nation calls upon in times of crisis or stress. We’ve incorporated some of her research into our program and have been having great success with participants using this simple yet effective coaching model in their own leadership practice.

Don’t forget to log our blog at We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

Best regards, Steven B. Wiley


In the News: Steven B. Wiley featured in SELLING ESSENTIALS magazine

SELLING ESSENTIALS MAGAZINE, July 3, 2009 — In an article entitled, “When the CEO called, I had to say no,” Steven B. Wiley, founder of the Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg, writes in a first person article:

I received a call out of the blue from a meeting planner for a very large and well-known company. “We’re looking for a keynote speaker for our annual meeting,” she said. “Could you send me some background information?”

“My company conducts leadership training, and I knew that a speaking engagement could open the door to many more opportunities. I had plenty of testimonials. But I knew from experience that they were just the beginning. This sale – like every sale – was all about trust. Selecting a speaker is a high-risk proposition. If you choose well, everybody remembers the speaker, not the person who hired him. But if the speaker misses the mark, everybody asks, “Who picked that guy?”

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E-NEWSLETTER: June News from the Lincoln Leadership Institute

June Newsletter: Lincoln Leadership Institute — Hello from Gettysburg! A recent article in The Washington Post caught my eye. It turns out that in a survey of federal workplaces, strong managers rank high.

Entitled Money’s Nice, but a Good Boss Is Better, Post staff writer Steve Vogel wrote in the May 20 article: “When it comes to sizing up the quality of their workplaces, federal workers value strong leadership and straight answers from their bosses more than even pay and benefits, according to a new comprehensive study of the federal workforce.”

The study, based on the Office of Personnel Management’s biennial federal human capital survey taken last year, highlights the importance of having good, strong leadership skills and clear lines of communication. In fact the top-ranking agency in the study (the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) earned good marks “because senior management takes the time to listen to the staff.”

This is something we consistently talk about in our Transformational Journey from Gettysburg program because it seems so easy to just listen — but too often it doesn’t happen in the workplace. As you’ve probably heard me say “listen ‘til it hurts.” I guarantee that it will help you be a better leader, colleague and family member.

Give it a try this month and let me know what happens! Talk to you in July.

Best regards, Steven B. Wiley

As always, send your comments and ideas to our managing director, Angela Sontheimer, at


IN THE NEWS: Steven B. Wiley featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 7, 2009 — Reporter Len Boselovic wrote in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

As the recession rages outside, about 20 CEOs of Western Pennsylvania companies are comfortably ensconced in a meeting room at St. Clair Country Club, sipping bottled water or coffee and watching clips from ‘The Killer Angels.’ When the carnage in the movie about the battle of Gettysburg comes to an end, speaker Steven B. Wiley comes to life, telling the attentive executives that learning from Gettysburg’s heroes — including a willingness to listen — can make them better leaders.

“If you think about listening until it hurts, it could change your life,” Mr. Wiley exhorts them.

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VIDEO: Lincoln Leadership Institute launches new YouTube video

A Transformational Journey from Gettysburg is the title of the most recent YouTube video release that Inkandescent Public Relations helped create for Steve Wiley’s Lincoln Leadership Institute.

Based on the intensive three-day leadership training program that well-known speaker Wiley has been hosting for years, this video by Inkandescent’s videographer Zach Starr, features insights and lessons from generals, ambassadors, and the other LLI faculty members who each year teach hundreds of managers and executives from top U.S. firms how to be more effective and efficient.

“We use the battle of Gettysburg as a metaphor, but our program is not a just a history lesson,” says Wiley. “We focus on the key things that helped the North secure the win on those critical July days in 1863.”

Watch it now on YouTube.

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Video: Steven B. Wiley interviews Lincoln about the importance of Executive Presence

Gettysburg PA, March 16, 2009 — Why is having an executive presence so important? Today Steven B. Wiley, president of the Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg, released a YouTube video about why, and how, to achieve the highest standard of leadership. In this video by Inkandescent Public Relations videographer Zach Starr of Starr Media, Wiley interviews Lincoln about what it takes to be as effective as the 16th president.

View the video on YouTube and read the entire transcript below.

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Press Release: The Lincoln Leadership Institute Celebrates Lincoln’s 200th Birthday with Video on YouTube

Gettysburg PA, February 24, 2009 — The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg launched a special YouTube video this week to celebrate the move into its new offices in the historic David Wills House — the location where the 16th president spent the night before reciting the historic Gettysburg Address. “We are thrilled to have our headquarters in this beautifully restored historic landmark,” says Steven B. Wiley, president of the Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg, who spoke at the opening luncheon prior official ribbon cutting for the museum.

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In the News: Steve Wiley is featured in February issue of Continental Airlines magazine

Continental Airlines magazine, February 2009 — In an article published in this month’s issue of Continental Airlines magazine, reporter Robert McGarvey quotes our client Steve Wiley, president of the Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg.

In an entitled, Smarten Up: New-style education initiatives prepare savvy executives to master the tough times ahead, McGarvey says …

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In the News: Steve Wiley is featured in this issue of Celebrate Gettysburg magazine

Celebrate Gettysburg magazine, January 1, 2009 — “His voice resonates with vibrant passion,” writes reporter Adam Kulikowski in the January-February issue of Celebrate Gettysburg. “It fills any room he presides and fills the minds of those in attendance. At 6 foot 3 inches, The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg President Steven Wiley’s stature in business and in person commands attention.”

And so begins a thoughtful article about the successes and failures that helped Wiley learn firsthand about what it means to be a true leader in the world of business. For as those who have heard Wiley speak know — his first company, an exterior restoration business, grew from a $50,000 start-up to a multi-million-dollar organization with more than 130 offices in three countries. But in 1989, he lost $4.5 million.

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Books: Steven B. Wiley offers insights into business leadership for chapter in new book: "42 Rules™ for Driving Success With Books"

WASHINGTON, DC, January 1, 2009 — Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg president Steven B. Wiley is featured in a new book released this month, “42 Rules™ for Driving Success With Books,” by Mitchell Levy, publisher of Happy About, a quick2print publishing company based in Southern California.

Wiley writes: “I have had the great honor of being invited to speak at some of the biggest organizations and Fortune 500 companies in the world to make presentations based on a book I wrote during the toughest period in my life. It is called ‘The Human Side of High Performance,’ and I am thrilled to say that its message has resonated with some of the most famous, and infamous, leaders of our time who have hired me to speak to their sales teams and managers.”

“I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide I wanted to be a celebrated author and speaker who helps people be more productive and effective as sales and business professionals. I began by trying to help myself.”

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E-Newsletter: In the Spirit of the Holidays: What was life like in Gettysburg during the Christmas holidays of 1863?

December 2008 — As one can imagine, there was a desire to unite, celebrate, and honor the fallen soldiers during the Christmas of 1863 — especially in Gettysburg where people were still reeling from the incredible loss of thousands of husbands, sons, fathers, and kin.

Traditions we hold dear today — such as Christmas cards, carols, special foods, holding winter dances — all date back to this time. New traditions were also born, such cutting down fir and pine trees that were brought into the home. Unlike today, the trees were tabletop size and arranged with greenery and mistletoe — items thought to bring good luck to the household.

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Press Release: Leaders of Swagelok / North Carolina take a Transformational Journey from Gettysburg

Gettysburg, PA, November 18, 2008CEO Steve Smith and his team of executives graduated last month from the three-day Transformational Journey from Gettysburg, a leadership training program designed by nationally-renown motivational speaker Steven B. Wiley, president of the Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg.

“Part of being a good leader is listening and learning from other Leaders,” realizes Smith, who has participated in Wiley’s Transformational Journey three times in the last several years. “My company, Charlotte Valve and Fitting Company, is a distributor of Swagelok, and we are always learning from the experience of the leaders at Swagelok. They challenged us to improve our leadership skills and management skills to become an industry leading employer, and Steve Wiley’s program fits in perfectly with our goals.”

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