Friday, March 25, 2011

What is a leader?

"The first responsibility of the leader is to define what can be. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor." - Max DePree

Friday, October 8, 2010


"Lack of trust within an organization saps its energy, fosters a climate of suspicion and second-guessing, completely devastates teamwork and replaces it with internal politics.  The end result is low morale and the consequent low standards of performance." said Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman of DBS Bank Ltd and former Chairman of Singapore Airlines in response to reading Stephen M.R. Covey's book "The Speed of Trust".

What do you think of this statement?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Integrity and Respect

Over the past month, I had to take a course on Integrity and Respect.  How sad is it that companies are having to train people in these fundemental principles but how gutsy?  These values are fundemental to my core values.  Integrity is a very interesting word.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines 'integrity' as "Wholeness; entirety; soundness; uprightness; honesty."  I agree strongly with Carol B. Thomas ( “Integrity,” Ensign, May 2000, 91) when she said that 'integrity' means that a person will do what he or she says they will do and keep the promises that they make to themselves.  It means having the moral courage to make one's actions consistent with one's knowledge of right and wrong.  A person with integrity is honest.  They do the right thing when nobody is watching.  They keep their word and any confidences they are given.  They repay their debts and clean up their own messes.  They accept responsibility for their actions.  They choose to do what is right regardless of the circumstances.  Gordon B. Hinckley said that 'In all this world there is no substitute for personal integrity.  It includes honour.  It includes performance. It includes keeping one's word.  It includes doing what is right regardless of the circumstances"  (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 270).

What does integrity look like to you?  Do you have examples of people who show integrity?  Please share them so we can get a good picture of what integrity looks like?

Sunday, September 12, 2010


David Greske, the author, wrote:

"One individual that comes to mind is a gentleman from a previous job who took me under his wing and nurtured me with a kind of kindness and steering similar to a father's direction. He never raised in voice in anger and let the me take control of the day-to-day challenges. Some decisions I made were wrong and my supervisor knew before I made the decision that it probably wasn't the right one, but he believed enough in me to allow the decision to happen and afterwards ask me why I think the decision wasn't the best one. He'd then give his reasoning and explanation of what he believed would've been a better decision. But he never reprimanded me for my original decision. He respected me and that's really the bottom line. Respect. Just because someone in a leadership position has different responsibilities, he/she still needs to respect those around him/her."

Thank-you very much for your input, David.

Have you had a leader that you admired or made an impact on your life or view of life? What leadership characteristics were used?

You can check out David's my space at

Summary of Leadership Qualities

I have been asked what the four important aspects of leadership were in the post that I wrote.  Actually, when I went back to read it, I spotted two more.  They are:
  1. Concern with the individual in a team/organization;
  2. Objective driven;
  3. Teaching the objectives by instruction and example;
  4. Making individuals and leaders accountable;
  5. Unperturbed by the popularity of his stance; and
  6. Proactivity.
Have you had a leader that you admired or made an impact on your life or view of life? What leadership characteristics were used?

Really Concerned.

Wendy Olsen gave the following reaction to 'Leadership qualities that impact my view of leaders':

"I really like this. It sounds as if this man was really concerned about the people who worked for him and under him and that he took his responsibilities seriously. Wendy Olsen"

Thanks Wendy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Leadership qualities that impacted my view of leaders

Nearly thirty years ago, the actions of a great man taught me four important aspects of leadership. This gentleman came into a situation where people were used to doing things a certain way. It had been this way for more than ten years. However, the objectives of the organization had been displaced and were not the primary focus at this location of the organization. As this man took over the leadership of this location, he was very proactive. He started by teaching the objectives by instruction and by example. He was concerned about every individual under his leadership. In order to reach out to the one, he made every auxiliary head accountable for knowing about each individual and had regular interviews with them where he would ask questions about each person under their jurisdiction. He was not very popular as he began to implement his leadership, but that did not deter him in his pursuit. About ten years later, I ran across this gentleman again in a different area of the organization. He had more responsibilities at this point and he conducted his affairs in the same way. At first, many individuals would dread the personal interviews with this man as they accounted for their responsibilities, but as time went on, they began to relax as they knew what he expected of them and what their job was. Under his leadership, the organization moved forwards fulfilling its primary objectives and the individuals within the organization were able to grow and progress. To me, he was a great leader and made a big difference in how I view leaders.

Have you had a leader that you admired or made an impact on your life or view of life? What leadership characteristics were used?