Sunday, September 10th, 2017


I know that you as top leaders know that your role has many facets. In fact I was thinking the other day of how your brain is constantly playing three dimensional chess. Long term/short term. Focus ‘in’ the company/focus on extenal world. Visionary strategy/fixing operations. All factors are in a state of constant flux and you have to judge where they are on the continua (how’s that for a word?) and where thinking is needed or action needs to be taken. And the judge of your effectiveness is how accurate you are in where you put your attention.That reality can be dizzying, which is why top leaders and CEO’ have to step off their world often to regain perspective.

Here is a newly emerging demand on you in your role that you may not fully ‘get’ given the demands I mention above. Here it comes and I do not mean it to be or think that it is “grandiose’.  You are a source of hope to people in your company if you choose to be. Leadership is a mess today in so many venues–church, government, education to name the biggies. Who’d a thunk that Global and American Corporations have healthier leadership than those mentioned above.

I was a maverick in ‘corporate’ life. I often would hear people berate Corporate America as if I were not in the room. I would remind them that I was, indeed, a corporate executive and was not evil. I saw kindness, tons of humor, solid policy, teamwork, intelligence, savvy, rather mild politics, and, yes, some inadequate leaders and bad decisions. I did not see arrogant evil. I worked in a corporate culture that I now know was extraordinary in its decency and idealism. And I see spin-off people from that time doing great work both in and outside of organizations.

And so, I ask all of you in powerful positions to remember that a side effect of your leadership is (or isn’t) hope–belief that leading is an admirable role that carries the potential to teach and model what good power and good leading looks like. I’m not talking about high drama, high charisma leadership. I’m talking about a plain kind of decency, fairness, generosity and optimism. I know these qualities leads to profit and growth.  I’ve seen it up close. But I know that it also leads to hope and trust in leaders in a time that we desperately need it. One more facet of modern leadership!




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