Leaders to Leader

Lessons from the Great American Leaders & How They Apply Now

Posts Tagged ‘culture of excellence

Where Did Our Values Originate From?

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Many of the values that define a leader originate from military codes of honor. These were rooted in medieval codes of chivalry. However. The one individual who had the most influence in the creation of values that define American leaders is Benjamin Franklin.

According to Wikipedia: “Franklin is credited as being foundational to the roots of American values and character, a marriage of the practical and democratic Puritan values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the words of Henry Steele Commager, “In Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat.” To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin, “the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become.”

These values are still evident within our society and are reflected in the values that leaders are expected to espouse. However there is a noticeable deterioration of these values over time and these could be responsible for many of the leadership problems observed today, either by imbalance or by corruption of this value system.

If you would like to learn more about the great American leader’s beliefs and values, through their own inspiring words and stories, refer to Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It. It illustrates how great leaders built great companies, and how you can apply the strategies, concepts and techniques that they pioneered to improve your own leadership skills. Click here to learn more.

Copyright © 2009 Timothy F. Bednarz All Rights Reserved

How Would Contemporary Leaders Be Viewed Back Then?

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If it would be possible to travel in time, how would our contemporary leaders be viewed by our Founding Fathers?

The Founding Fathers would be displayed to find the overall deterioration of values they highly prized. However, they would not be surprised, since they observed these values displayed by the aristocrats of the European courts and warned that their introduction would lead to the destruction of the country as they envisioned it.

Our contemporary leaders would not have been allowed to rise to positions of power. The lone exception would be the positions that were obtained through inheritance and wealth. Yet these individuals were viewed as suspect.

Many of the self-serving actions of leaders that led to the destruction of companies and cultures would have led to personal ruin and disgrace, while tolerated, if not hailed today.

The question is why have we as a society allowed the deterioration of values and allowed self-serving leaders to destroy our society and personal security?

Before we can understand how to restore real leadership, we need to understand the answers to this question.

If you would like to learn more about the great American leader’s beliefs and values, through their own inspiring words and stories, refer to Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It. It illustrates how great leaders built great companies, and how you can apply the strategies, concepts and techniques that they pioneered to improve your own leadership skills. Click here to learn more.

Copyright © 2009 Timothy F. Bednarz All Rights Reserved

It’s the Little Things that Count

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Leaders are walking testimonies of their beliefs, values and philosophies. It’s not the broad pronouncements, but the little things that count… the platoon leader who allows his soldiers of the pick of the rations before picking his, usually the least desirable meal… the entrepreneur that bets the farm and sticks to it, when things get tough, rather than close the business… the manager who gets his hands dirty fixing a critical piece of equipment so the production line doesn’t shut down… the CEO who goes out with his or her sales people to keep in touch with the customer.

There are so many things that employees, stakeholders and constituents observe that deserve praise or develop distain. A leader’s actions are transparent. People notice if they are self-serving or servants. The best have a servant mentality that tends to be modeled throughout the organization culture.

The self-serving leader telegraphs another message: “Every man for himself.” Employees know that when the going get tough, the self-serving leader is out the door. How often do we see the actions of the self-serving leader displayed in Corporate America?

In the real world words have meaning and actions have consequences. Often it is what is not seen or is seen behind doors is what builds trust, loyalty and credibility. What a leader does when no one is looking defines his or her character. Just because its seemingly hidden, doesn’t mean no one is looking.

If you would like to learn more about the great American leader’s servant attitudes, through their own inspiring words and stories, refer to Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It. It illustrates how great leaders built great companies, and how you can apply the strategies, concepts and techniques that they pioneered to improve your own leadership skills. Click here to learn more.

Copyright © 2009 Timothy F. Bednarz All Rights Reserved

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