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Words count, but actions speak louder

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

An adoring crowd mobbed the political hero from Illinois and welcomed him with three resounding cheers, and then three more.

The mob’s adulation was not lost on his many critics, North and South.

Thousands willingly followed his lead in those dark days of war because he possessed a personal quality most politicians couldn’t hope to touch: honesty.

When he stepped into a public square in Gettysburg, Pa., Abraham Lincoln was visible only because he stood a head taller than everybody else. First on foot and later riding a horse, he went to dedicate a national cemetery to the Civil War dead. One observer along the route saw a modest but dignified man with “dreadful responsibility” on his shoulders.

People bowed and cheered, “Hurrah for Old Abe.”

“Such homage I never saw or imagined could be shown to any one person as the people bestow on Lincoln,” wrote Josephine Roedel, a native of Gettysburg. “The very mention of his name brings forth shouts of applause. Even his enemies acknowledge him to be an honest man.”

Lesson: In times of crisis, your actions speak louder than ever.

—Adapted from “For Us the Living,” Gabor Boritt, American History.

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