Who Owns Good Values Anyway? – Nu Leadership Series

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Have you ever thought what makes one manager better than another? It might start with his or her credibility. Good values give leaders credibility. Today’s politicians argue about God’s political affiliation. Politicians promote values like they were Nike shoes. As a result, Americans are now cynical their leaders.

Let’s examine this matter closer. In 1998, President Clinton was caught in a vicious sex scandal. Clearly, it was a national disgrace. There was a circle of low character issues, including adultery, lies, and betrayal. His opponents gleamed at the possible political advantages. However, the results were different than expected.

A character train wreck pursued. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich resigned, and his replacement Bob Livingston resigned after his adulterous scandal. As a result of these personal shames among politicians, voices grew quieter about these unethical deeds. No one was discussing good family values during this scandalous timeframe. However, people want to think highly about their leaders. Leadership gurus Kouzer and Posner explain that most individuals admire leaders who are honest, inspiring, and competent.

I wonder why these powerful people don’t get it. Why do some politicians feel they can short circuit good character in their offices? People do care about character. Clearly, effective leaders need to understand that character does count and is valued among followers. Therefore, more politicians need to listen closer.


BBC.co.uk (1998). Received on October 5, 2006, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1998/12/98/review_of_98/themes/208715.stm.

Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2003). Credibility. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green