6 leaderships qualities tradies can learn from Abraham Lincoln

We are surrounded by leaders everyday, some more anonymous and silent than others – take tradies for example, responsible for leading and driving companies and businesses every single day applying they leadership qualities.

A part of empathy is the ability to mix with others and communicate. These are the characteristic traits of a good leader who can communicate with and lead teams. We are going to look at some leadership qualities tradies should recognise as  important tools for leadership development.

Abraham Lincoln was a major influencer who had great notoriety as a well as being known as a legendary leader and human being.

Unpacking some of the 16th American presidents work, we think some of his leadership lessons are worth implementing within today’s businesses.

1. Empathy and emotional intelligence

President Lincoln was so very aware of the importance of establishing genuine relationships with the people around him. 

From day dot, he did his upmost to gain the respect of those around him and during his presidency. But why spend time gaining respect when he was already president? The power of emotionally intelligence is the key point!

No one is born a leader. Unlike other presidents that were generals or governors prior to their presidency, Lincoln did not have experience leading teams and yet no one questioned his leadership. Probably because one of his strongest traits was his sense of integrity and such a strong belief in his principles.


Managers in the tradie industry also should take note from Lincoln and understand that in order to show great leadership in the trades that empathy is at the absolute core of relationship management and emotional intelligence.  Also that empathy makes the basis for relationship management skills, influencing other people, having a positive impact, mentoring, managing conflict and creating inspiration as a leader.

2. Social Skills

Lincoln’s personal qualities enabled him to form friendships with men who had previously opposed him, he repaired injured feelings that if left would escalate to permanent hostility.

During the American Civil War, Lincoln formed a cabinet composed of his political rivals, in whom he put his faith.

A strong tradie leader should know when to rely on others and is able to recognise the success of his team above his own. Developing the skills of negotiation and conflict resolution along with the ability to mix with others is a characteristic trait to become a good leader. 

3. Communication

Lincoln’s communication skills were extraordinary. He wasn’t a smooth talking slick public speaker, he actually refused to speak  in public without a prepared text. 

However his greatest gift was the ability to get his audience involved in his stories and vision of his projects. People believed that HE himself truly believed in the message he was conveying and the words he was saying, this is where the expression “honest Abe” originated from. 

When your team believe that YOU believe, it speaks volumes about your ability as a leader to influence people.  


4. Accepting criticism and advice

Lincoln was very much open to criticism and debate. He empowered his leadership through dialogue with the American society of the time and used the opinion of others to self-correct mistakes and improve his public image. 

Lincoln accepted advice but also followed his own instinct whenever he thought it wise.

As a tradie, its important to remain diplomatic yet possess a quick thinking attitude in order to make decisions that lead to great leadership through open communication.

5. Motivation

Lincoln’s transformational leadership ability is very impressive. Lincoln had his principles always clear and put them into practice throughout his career.

How did he stay motivated when thousands of people were dying each day in the civil war?

How did he then remain motivated when his 12year old son died? 

He could have easily thrown in his top hat by single handedly calling or the war. The American public would have supported him.

Instead he chose to stay motivated by touching the suffering of those fighting the same cause. 

As humans we are largely emotional creatures. We need to understand things on an emotional level for something to sink in. 

Motivation possibly is the most characteristic lesson from leadership. For a tradie share and spread the passion for a project is vital to get support from a team and work together to achieve collective goals. 

6. Inspiring trust

A strong character inspires trust in tradies. A tradie can’t really be a good leader if he doesn’t convey a positive message. 

Abraham Lincoln always tried to inspire trust to voters with an optimistic attitude. Lincoln was a person for the people, great leaders want to connect with him.

Confidence and approachability are respected and convey trust. It also opens up the doors for people to get to know you better and give the chance to build a relationship which in itself is great leadership . These are trust inspiring “people skills” required to be a good leader. 

Its incredibly critical for us here at  wind rose co. that during our leadership selection for our team, that all the traits and characteristics are met to align with our company values and moral. After all, this is a key decision that impacts the overall success of our business.

Our team leaders offer guidance to all members of the team to ensure they are fulfilling their roles. Guidance include training and instructing team members and taking preventive and corrective when necessary.

We motivate our teams by creating a positive environment where all of our team feel respected are working collectively to reach a common goal.

We are always seeking ways to improve and motivate, we are interested to know from your business what you do to motivate and create good leaders?