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Leadership sightings—Who inspires you?

Posted by Severini, Gail at Wednesday, 01/30/2013 6:21 am
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2.9 from 46 votes
We have been hunkered down for a couple of years following the recession.

In early 2012, I was hopeful that organizations would break back out. However, it seems to me that this is only happening in pockets.

There are a few brave souls on the horizon, however.

Train wrecks dominate

There is plenty of bad news (think crises like the sub-prime catastrophe and Barclays LIBOR manipulation, arguably caused by weak leadership [more here “8 High-Profile Financial Scandals in 5 Months” ])

I find myself longing for great leaders―for the potential that they see, and the energy they can generate.

Real inspiration in the face of adversity

I have been impressed with a few leaders in the last several years. I don’t necessarily agree with all of their views or approaches (in fact I may disagree with some). Rather, it is their determination and willingness to stand on their truth that impresses me.

• Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO, Starbucks for “Create Jobs for USA” (
• Antony Jenkins, Group Chief Executive, Barclays for being willing to take on Barclays’ culture in the face of the LIBOR scandal (
• John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods for trail-blazing ethical business as documented in the new book co-written with Rajendra Sisodia “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business”

There are many other less-famous leaders who toil every day to make a difference. We are privileged to work with many, but can’t tell their stories without breaking confidentiality agreements. I will, however, share a quote that sent chills down my spine, spoken by one such leader: “I may not be forgiven for launching this strategy.” We all knew in our bones that this strategy was an imperative―that it might not work. We still worry (although we don’t dare say it) that it might damage the organization. Still, he perseveres.

So I am curious. Who inspires you?

Please share names, stories, links in the comments section.

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