Monday, April 07, 2008

Developing Leaders of the Future: Promoting Vision and Values

On Friday April 4, 2008, students representing many countries—including Australia, Brazil, Greece, India, Nigeria, Romania, Sri Lanka and the United States—gathered in West Point, New York to discuss issues of leadership, character and courage. This venue was provided through a unique collaboration of Fairleigh Dickinson University‚Äôs School of Administrative Science and the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic at the United States Military Academy.

As an invited speaker for the event, my topic was Principles of Visionary Leadership as a Response to the Crisis of Character. It is important to recognize that leadership is both focused on others:

Leadership is not magnetic personality—that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people"—that is flattery.

Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.
— Peter F. Drucker

and focused on self:
Personal leadership is not a singular experience. It is, rather, the ongoing process of keeping your vision and values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with those most important things.
— Stephen Covey

True leaders have personal awareness and personal integrity, yet unselfishly put the greater good ahead of their own needs. I call this the Altruism Factor and see it as a necessary ingredient for changing the world.

The next presentation, given by Major Devon M. Blake, Education Officer at the Simon Center, received enthusiastic interaction from the attendees regarding:

  • TRUST
    critical to individuals, families and communities
  • USMA HONOR CODE
    A cadet will nor lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do—essential to character, integrity and trust
  • TRANSPARENT LEADERSHIP
    allows the leader to be understood as a real person and motivates others to follow out of loyalty and respect
  • MORAL COURAGE
    encourages others to do what is right not out of fear but based on a dedication to ethical principles
  • CHARACTER
    must be maintained at any price since it takes a lifetime to build and can be lost in a matter of seconds.

To close the day, a cadre of United States Military Academy cadets joined us to exchange personal experiences with the Fairleigh Dickinson University students.

The venue highlighted the importance of diversity, developing leadership skills and the call to serve the community and the world. All in all, I'd say it was an extraordinary success.

Navigating Leadership (5:26) <A HREF="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WJk1jBM15I">Play the clip on YouTube</A>

READ MORE

Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Administrative Science Click here to visit site
Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic Click here to visit site

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