Leadership Beyond Closet Skeletons – Nu Leadership Series

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”
Lao Tzu

Gray, who is a charismatic leader in his community, is running for political office in his state. Everyone loves him. Gray has great integrity and honesty. However, behind closed doors, Gray beats his wife and torments his children. He is confident that his secret will never be revealed. Gray will be mistaken.

I’ll explore what it means to be a leader in a public environment. New emerging leaders must understand the cultural landscape to be effective. We live in a media “in your face” environment. Why should leaders care about cultural occurrences outside of their organizational boundaries? Wren, a management expert, conveys that managers must understand the cultural values of their society for good decision-making. Many people believe what’s in the news and don’t critically think.

It is my claim that today’s leader must be media-savvy and candid with followers. The media loves a good story, regardless of the cost. For example, a recent article cited a top official saying that the Bush administration deliberately misused or ignored intelligence analysis about the Iraq invasion. Can President Bush adequately defend this in the public opinion arena? Do you remember President Clinton’s impeachment trials? Everyone pointed fingers. The media pursued a hunt into the lives of these public officials. When it was over, it was a huge mess.

Overall, leaders should be honest with followers and media-tested in our culture, because everyone has made mistakes in life. As a leader, your personal life is exposed to the public. Therefore, you need to walk circumspectly and live with integrity. Start today!

References:

Goodridge, E. (February 12, 2006). Bush “Cherry-Picked” Data on Iraq. The Knoxville

News-Sentinel, A4.
Wren, D. (2005). The Evolution of Management Thought. Hooboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green

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