One of the greatest teambriefs ever delivered

On November 19th 1863 in Gettysburg Pennsylvania president Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the greatest teambriefs/line ups / stump speeches of all time. 

His “stump speech” contained only 272 words and lasted just over 2 minutes yet is it one of the most widely reported, quoted and remembered of all time. Lincoln’s address followed the oration by Edward Everett, his speech contained 13,607 words, he spoke for over two hours and very few remember what he said.

Many say Lincoln wrote it on the back of an envelope on the way to Gettysburg, however handwriting analysis tells us this was not the case, he was known to meticulously plan his speeches however he is most likely to have made some finishing touches en route.  There are only five original manuscripts of the speech, two are believed to have been written beforehand, the other three afterwards following requests from friends.

After the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil war on July 1–3, 1863, the reburial of Union soldiers from the Gettysburg Battlefield graves began on October 17. David Wills, of the committee for the November 19 Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, invited President Lincoln:

 “It is the desire that, after the Oration, you, as Chief Executive of the nation, formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks.”

The Gettysburg address 

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. 
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. ( 2016)

Lincoln was ill at the time of the address yet he still turned up and delivered the speech with authority and passion.

A fact many may not know is that Abraham Lincoln was feeling ill at the time, he told John Hay and several others that he was feeling dizzy. He was later diagnosed with a mild form of smallpox following a protracted period of illness which started a few days before he delivered his stump speech.

What can we learn from this for our own team briefs

Short and sweet even spending two or three minutes on a team brief can make a lasting impact

Even if we are feeling under par – just do it

Deliver a killer line that will be the earworm (an earworm is a phrase or song you cannot get out of you head)

Get it right and it will be remembered long after you have gone

Plan it then add a few finishing touches later to make it relevant

How will you plan your teambriefs so they stand the test of time?

Visit to see how I can develop your team leaders and help them deliver a “killer team brief”

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