WALK THE WALK:
The #1 Rule for Real Leaders
By Alan Deutschman
Pub. Date Sept. 3, 2009
True and inspiring stories of authentic leadership for tough times
Leadership is the art of transforming how people think, feel and act.
Though some experts make it seem complicated, it really has only two
elements: what you say and how you act. And according to Alan
Deutschman, most aspiring leaders focus too much on words and not
nearly enough on setting an example.
Deutschman profiles a wide range of leaders (in business, education,
the military, and non-profits) who always walked the walk, especially
when times got tough. In a skeptical world, that gave them more
credibility than even the best possible speeches. Consider how:
• Martin Luther King Jr. proved his commitment to nonviolence by
letting a racist detractor beat him in front of a crowded auditorium.
• Herb Kelleher and Colleen Barrett of Southwest Airlines showed they
were serious about putting employees first by sticking to a no-layoffs
policy, no matter what.
• Sony founder Masuro Ibuka, who stressed originality over profits,
waited for years to release a color television, until the Trinitron was
a true breakthrough.
Deutschman also shows the devastating consequences of not walking the
walk, even on seemingly minor matters. Consider how the CEOs of GM and
Chrysler hurt their chances of a government bailout by flying their
private jets to Washington.
The eye-opening examples in Walk the Walk will inspire leaders at all
levels to rethink their priorities.
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