Americans have now witnessed decades of scandals in government, business, and in faith and non-profit organizations. Institutional trust is at an all-time low. This is a crisis of character and a failure in leadership.

Real leaders surround themselves with truth tellers. They encourage employees to speak honestly about issues.  These leaders want the team to tell them when they are making a bad decision.  It is safe to point out problems and admit mistakes.

Leaders ensure they have strong and effective checks and balances to limit their authority and ensure transparency, honesty, and accountability. We create and sustain a culture of ethical responsibility. We hire, promote, recognize, and reward for integrity. We welcome sunlight and scrutiny.

We have seen where the character of the leadership either transforms the organization achieving unprecedented success or badly or even irreparably damages it. It makes you very proud to work in one but it’s sad and painful to work in the other.

Although important, America’s premier challenge is not having the technology, infrastructure, talent, innovation, energy, or capital. It is having leaders that employees, customers, taxpayers, and all Americans can trust.


From the Teacher: Leadership Lessons with Dr. Saviak is a weekly column with the esteemed Joseph C. Saviak, Ph.D., J.D., M.A., M.S., Management Consulting & Leadership Training

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