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news and notes
June 2009
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President's MessageSteve Wiley

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 angela@lincolnleadershipinstitute.com.

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

Post Gazette

Steven Wiley was honored to be featured in the June 7 issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where reporter Len Boselovic wrote:

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.

“What a terrific article,” says Wiley, who was the keynote speaker at the monthly meeting of a local chapter of Vistage International. The San Diego-based company trains more than 14,000 senior executives in 16 countries to be better leaders, including nearly 100 in Western Pennsylvania. “I regularly speak to Vistage groups around the country, and it’s always my pleasure to share some of my ideas about leadership.”

Read the entire article here.

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What if women had been in charge at Gettysburg?

Kathy Hanson

That’s the question that new LLI faculty member Kathy Hanson will ask later this month when she leads a session at an upcoming Transformational Journey from Gettysburg session. 

“Women have served as leaders and warriors for thousands of years, yet only recently have they become formally accepted in American culture in either of these roles,” Hansen explains. “Using historically significant women and popular contemporary female figures as examples, I take a humorous look at some alternative scenarios that might have taken place during the pivotal battle of Gettysburg if women had been running the show.”

We’re very excited to have Kathy join our faculty, for she has had an illustrious career. She recently joined the National Park Service as its Chief Learning Officer, where she is now responsible for the oversight of the leadership and employee development programs for Park Service employees. Learn more here.

Formerly, she was the Program Director at the Eastern Management Development Center (EMDC) for the Office of Personnel Management’s Center for Leadership Capacity Services. In that position, Kathy developed and delivered training seminars for government managers and leaders. Some of her areas of special interest in leadership training include executive communication, team and relationship building, and conflict resolution.

Kathy is also a Gulf War-Era veteran of the U.S. Army. She served as a helicopter pilot for several years and holds a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California.

LLI at the American Society for Training and Development

Trade ShowSteve, Angela and intern Ben Lyman man LLI's trade show booth at the recent American Society for Training and Development annual conference in Washington DC.  They met with training professionals from around the country and promoted the Lincoln Leadership Institute programs during the three-day expo.

Gettysburg Festival Orchestra to perform A Lincoln Portrait

Gettysburg Festival

Mark your calendar: June 19, 7:30 pm
Majestic Theater, 25 Carlisle St., Gettysburg PA
Tickets: 717-337-8200

Details: www.gettysburgfestival.org

At this year’s Gettyburg Festival on June 19, the Gettysburg Festival Orchestra will perform Aaron Copland’s famous piece A Lincoln Portrait, a musical score that includes narration of Lincoln’s writings by actor James Earl Jones.

A little history: About 10 days after news of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the conductor André Kostelanetz wrote to Jerome Kern, Virgil Thomson, and Aaron Copland with a commission. He hoped for three works that would have "a correlated idea in that they are to represent a musical portrait gallery of great Americans." Copland turned to Lincoln.

“I believe with Abraham Lincoln," he asserted, "that 'the legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all or cannot do so well for themselves in their separate and individual capacities.' "

The 65 members of the Gettysburg Festival Orchestra will also perform a number of American classics including more from Copeland, George Gershwin, and others before performing the finale A Lincoln Portrait. Learn more here: www.gettysburgfestival.org/program.

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Lost Lincoln Letter Returns to National Archives

Lincolns Letter

May 28, 2009 was a special day at the National Archives. A lost letter penned by Abraham Lincoln on Nov. 14, 1863 was gifted by collector Lawrence Cutler, who had previously bought it at auction but waited for the bicentennial year of Lincoln’s birth to donate the piece of history.

The back-story: Just five days before delivering the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln wrote the two-sentence letter to Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase on executive stationery. Historians were aware of the letter's existence because it was ripped from a volume of U.S. Treasury Department records, says National Archives spokeswoman Miriam Kleiman, noting that the content of the letter concerns Robert Stevens, a Treasury employee fired for bad management practices.

It turns out that Lincoln appointed Stevens as a favor to Oregon Senator Edward Baker, Steven’s father-in-law. In the lost letter, Lincoln asked his Treasury Secretary to allow Stevens access to the evidence that led to his dismissal from the U.S. Mint in San Francisco.

“Experts say the letter is evidence of the president’s sense of fairness and moral authority,” Kleiman concludes.

For details, visit: http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2009/nr09-88.html

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Copyright 2009, The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg