Trinity Forum Conversations

Lincoln in Private: Leadership Behind Closed Doors with Ron White

Lincoln did not keep a diary but he developed the habit of writing reflections and ruminations on little slips of paper. These notes, which Lincoln never intended for anyone to see, help us understand the depth of Lincoln’s character and thinking and introduce us to the private Lincoln behind the public Lincoln.

In his new work Lincoln in Private, renowned historian and biographer Ronald C. White takes the reader through a tour of Abraham Lincoln’s private notes that illustrate the ways in which he struggled with the national, moral, and spiritual crises of his times, and reflected on the possibilities of God’s purposes during the Civil War. In doing so, White shows the struggles of leadership behind closed doors — and what can be learned from Lincoln’s example.
At the end of the day, character does matter that policies are important, but policies will come and go. Character is what is lasting and over the long haul, whoever the person is. We don't need to think even simply of political figures. Leaders in business, lawyers, teachers, presidents of colleges or universities, character is what will endure or what will actually cause a person to fall.

Whether we know it or not, whether we talk about it or not. Character might sound like an old-fashioned word, but I think it's the underlying definition of who leaders are. - Ron C. White
This podcast is an edited version of our Online Conversation from May 2021. You can access the full conversation with transcript here.

Learn more about Ron White.

Related Trinity Forum Readings:
Abraham Lincoln: the Spiritual Growth of a Public Man
The Great Lives Collection 

Related Conversations:
Leadership in Tumultuous Times with Ron C. White

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Special thanks to Ned Bustard for our podcast artwork.

What is Trinity Forum Conversations?

Trinity Forum Conversations is a podcast exploring the big questions in life by looking to the best of the Christian intellectual tradition and elevating the voices, both ancient and modern, who grapple with these questions and direct our hearts to the Author of the answers. We invite you to join us in one of the great joys of life: a conversation among friends on the things that matter most.