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Is Your Door Wide Open? Lincoln’s Was.
Posted: July 01, 2009

Abraham Lincoln was one of the most accessible presidents of all time. He always had an open-door policy when he ran his law practice, and as much as possible, he maintained that policy in the White House.

According to Donald T. Phillips in his book Lincoln on Leadership, Lincoln’s personal secretaries estimated that he spent close to 75 percent of his time meeting with people. He apparently liked meeting with people in casual environments as he often walked to other people’s offices and dropped in on them. He also made himself widely available to the public and rarely turned down anyone who wanted to see him. He was known to be friendly and hospitable to all – no matter what someone’s political views were, and was likely viewed in a more positive and trustworthy manner because of it.

Lincoln left the legacy of this lesson to all leaders: Be amiable and open to all and you will build firm relationships that will provide the motivation to get done what needs to be accomplished.

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