Leadership is more than influence. It certainly includes influence, but it is more. I believe it includes at least five characteristics. I call these the five marks of authentic leadership.
Consider some famous names from the business world in recent years. Bernie Madoff. Ken Lay. Bernie Ebbers. What do they all have in common? One thing is that they each demonstrated a tremendous failure of character. They acted viciously with no signs of a moral compass, and as a result, they destroyed their companies and […]
“I knew it was a fake check,” she said. “But if I didn’t come up with the money, we were going to lose our car.” In more than two decades in law enforcement, this one case still stands out in my mind. Angelique was a wife, mother, and by all accounts, a good person with […]
Julius Caesar Watts memorably said that “character”—meaning good character—is about “doing what’s right when nobody’s looking.” Watts would know a lot about people looking on. From the Oklahoma Sooners to the Canadian Football League to a Baptist pulpit and on to elected office, at both state and national levels, and then back into the private […]
When we think of someone with integrity, we think of someone we can count on to come through on what they promise. Unfortunately, that’s not always a safe bet today. Over the last several years I’ve noticed a change in the way we use the word integrity. Having integrity requires staying true to your word—even […]
The foundation of effective leadership is character. Nothing else has more impact. Nothing else has greater reach. And nothing else can make up for its lack—not education, experience, talent, or contacts. Every now and then you hear a story about someone’s character that brings this principle into sharp focus. Gail and had this experience when […]
Last spring, Jim Bradford , Dean of Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, interviewed me on my leadership philosophy and practice. … How social media fits into my role as a CEO and why I think it is critical to my company’s success.
Most leaders talk to their teams about how they value honesty. However, judging by their behavior, very few of these leaders actually encourage it.
“Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?” Here’s my answer.
Several months ago, a former executive at our company made a commitment to a third-party via email. It is obvious that he didn’t research the cost of his promise nor did he get anyone else’s approval. Neither I nor my CFO was aware of the obligation until the other party brought it to our attention. When I learned that the commitment was north of six figures, I gasped.