It was a mess.

The whole thing was just a big mound of mess.

In just thirty days, General Ulysses Grant had lost 50,000 men.

Imagine that—50,000 men are dead under your leadership.

The Union wasn’t advancing as needed to win the war or reunite the nation.

It was a mess.

Lincoln knew all this.

He was aware.


Grant began to shift in strategy.

He moved equipment and began advancing in a new direction.

Jay Winik writes that Grant’s moves were a “…stunning change of plans.”

Lincoln then reacted by sending Grant a note that read, “I begin to see it. You will succeed. God bless you. – A. Lincoln.”

While Grant was down and scrambling to come up with a winning strategy, Lincoln gave him a shot of confidence.

The President wanted the General to know that someone believed in him.

Who needs to know that you believe in them?

Who has screwed up a project or missed a deadline but they’re doing double-time to make it all right?

Who has potential but has suffered a tremendous setback and needs a dose of confidence?

Be like Lincoln.

Send a note.

Tell them you believe in them.

Communicate that you see them winning.

Don’t leave people on the ground to wither and die in self-doubt.

Speak life so they can get up, shake off the dust of defeat, and try again.

Grant went on to win the war and help Lincoln reunite a nation and set a people free.


What could happen because you believed in someone?

Your words matter.

Use them to build, not destroy.

Send that card, email or text.

Make the call.

Get over the awkwardness and tell someone they matter.

I guarantee it’ll change their day and possibly even their life.


Hope will triumph.

Easy never changed the world. 


– Brian Sanders




Brian Sanders is an author/speaker and Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio. To contact him or for more information about his book, Leadership Endurance, visit .