Dean Erikson and Dr. Gluckman

Students are such an exciting audience.   They are discerning and open, forthright and respectful, curious and imaginative.  That’s how I found the leadership faculty and students to be when I spoke at TCU’s Neely School of Business.  The topic was Spirited Leadership and how this differs from ego-driven leadership.

One of the issues we discussed is how leaders, in business and congress, had made self-serving, short-term decisions that helped create the recession.  I shared my belief with them that USA leaders will need to go through a transformation from thinking about ‘Me, My and I’ to thinking about ‘Us and We’.

What is happening in the country at this very moment can help inform leaders in organizations about how their employees are feeling and what they need to do differently as leaders.  It would appear that values and behaviors such as transparency, authenticity, straight talk, openness and honesty are perceived by the people as being in short supply in the current socio-economic-political environment.  This will reflect directly on how they feel about the leaders in the organizations they work in and what they expect from them.

Corporate leaders will need to learn how to replace their egos with their authentic spirit so that they can ignite the hopes, energies, talents and spirit of their employees.  To achieve this, leaders need to learn how to recognize and manage the language and behaviors of their egos and instead reconnect with their own authentic and creative spirit.

The students seemed to resonate strongly with this idea.  They are still so spirited and optimistic and full of great visions about the future.  And the faculty at TCU are great role models of spirited leadership!  It was a great privilege to spend time with them all and share ideas.


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