8 of My Favorite Books on Lincoln
The number of Abraham Lincoln statues, books, and images scattered throughout my bookshelf might give it away, but if you didn’t already know, I am an admirer of our 16th president and how he led our nation through a critical period in history. His words and his work inspire me and are a powerful example of what it means to lead well. In his second inaugural address, he stated, “Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray.” Words to live by. Here are a few of my favorite books on Lincoln and how his leadership helped shape the course of history.
- Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
- A. Lincoln: A Biography, by Ronald C. White Jr.
- Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, by John Stauffer
- Love Is Eternal, by Irving Stone
- President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman, by William Lee Miller
- Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America, by Garry Wills
- The Eloquent President: A Portrait of Lincoln Through His Words, by Ronald C. White Jr.
- Abraham Lincoln and His Books, by William E. Barton
5 Leadership Books That Shaped Me
Being a leader requires continual growth and personal evaluation. I’m frequently drawn to new and recommended books on leadership, and am thankful to those who have recommended some of these books to me. Each book below has influenced my leadership, and I hope they will provide insight and inspiration for you.
- Leadership Is an Art, by Max De Pree
A mentor of mine gave this book to me in 1989. In it, De Pree creates a model of leadership as stewardship, with a philosophy that closely matches his Christian commitment. It was one of the first leadership books that I gave to the full staff under my care and shaped a year’s worth of dialog. It remains on my bookshelf today.
- The Making of a Leader: Recognizing the Lessons and Stages of Leadership Development, J. Robert Clinton
This book was published about the same time as De Pree’s Leadership is an Art. Dr. Clinton works just down the road at Fuller Seminary, serving as professor of leadership in the School of Intercultural Studies. His writing has been instrumental for me in gaining a deep understanding of mentoring and discipleship.
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't, by Jim Collins
I first read this book while on sabbatical to Willow Creek Community Church in the early 1990s. Although published more than 25 years ago, it remains a classic study on the impact of high standards and behaviors of excellence within an organizational culture. One particular area of importance that Collins calls attention to is the promotion of key leaders who carry that same cultural commitment to excellence.
- Servant Leadership: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness, by Robert K. Greenleaf
I was introduced to Greenleaf’s seminal book in 1977 by my then mentor, Dr. Tim Purga. Greenleaf brought legitimacy to the servant as leader model. Each fall, I teach a senior seminar in ethics at APU and it remains one of my great joys to introduce students to Greenleaf’s ideas and concepts.
- Leadership Prayers, by Richard Kriegbaum
Dr. Kriegbaum is a former Christian university president with a deep understanding of the importance of prayer in the life of a leader. This book is divided into 30 prayers focused on specific areas inc which leaders face challenges. This is one of my go-to resources for a dose of daily inspiration and meditation on critical decisions I’m facing.