10 Benefits of Credibility in Leadership

When many people think about what makes a leader, too often they think about things like vision, inspiration, and charisma. They think about knowing what to do and getting people to do it. Or they think about confidence and decisiveness. Sure, these are important sometimes. But there are many other aspects of leadership that remain … Read more

The Art of Giving versus Taking Credit: A Primer

Article Summary: Deciding when to take credit versus give credit for accomplishments is a more complicated issue than many people realize. Generally, it’s best to give credit to others, but there are some scenarios where it’s more nuanced. +++ The issue of giving versus taking credit for accomplishments is a tricky one for many leaders … Read more

Leaders, Do You Have Your People’s Backs?

Article Summary: Good leaders tell their people, “I’ve got your back”—and mean it. They make good on that promise. They protect their team, in the process building loyalty and trust. Do you have your people’s backs? +++ In the film “A Few Good Men,” Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee, played by Tom Cruise, defends two dedicated young … Read more

Good Leaders Demonstrate Self-Control

Article Summary: Self-control can be learned and developed. Good leaders demonstrate self-control, mastering their impulses and emotions. +++ Self-control is our ability to manage our impulses, emotions, feelings, and desires to influence our behavior, especially in difficult situations. It’s a form of self-discipline that helps us address our weaknesses, avoid undesirable behavior, and pursue what’s … Read more

Courage and Leadership

courage and leadership

Courage is essential for great leadership. Without courage, leaders can’t do the things they must do. Courage is the mental and moral strength which helps us venture forth, confront danger, face our fears and challenges, and persevere. Aristotle taught us that courage is the virtue that is at the center of—the “golden mean” between—foolhardiness (excessive … Read more

Spirituality and Leadership in Action–Martin Luther King, Jr.

Article Summary: Here we profile Martin Luther King, Jr. as an example of someone who has incorporated spirituality into his leadership with great effect. (This is part of a series on spirituality and leadership.) +++ In recent articles, we covered “Spirituality and Leadership—Leading with Heart and Love” and “How to Bring Spirituality into Your Leadership.” … Read more

Spirituality and Leadership in Action—Modern Examples

Article Summary: This article profiles several prominent modern leaders who have incorporated spirituality into their leadership, from JFK and Mother Teresa to Jane Goodall and Indra Nooyi. (This is part of a series on spirituality and leadership.) +++ In recent years, there’s been a growing interest in spirituality and leadership—and the related efforts around workplace … Read more

Spirituality and Leadership in Action–Historical Examples

Spirituality and Leadership Historical montage

Article Summary: This article profiles several prominent historical leaders who have incorporated spirituality into their leadership, from George Washington to the Dalai Lama. (This is part of a series on spirituality and leadership.) +++ In recent decades, with big challenges like a pandemic, climate change, global financial strains, political division, wars, and concerns about the … Read more

How to Bring Spirituality into Your Leadership

How to Bring Spirituality into Your Leadership

Article Summary: Incorporating spirituality into our leadership can be powerful for people and organizations. Here’s how leaders can go about it. (Part two in a series on spirituality and leadership.) +++ Our previous article, “On Spirituality and Leadership—Leading with Heart and Love,” addressed the power and many benefits of spirituality and leadership. Bringing spirituality into … Read more

On Spirituality and Leadership—Leading with Heart and Love

Article Summary:  On the relationship between love, spirituality, and leadership—and leading with heart. The first in a three-part series on spirituality and leadership. + + + Many of the derailers that inhibit the effectiveness of leaders concern matters of the heart and spirit that have gone awry for these leaders. For example, our Leadership Derailers … Read more

The Four Types of People in Any Organization (Beware the Fourth)

I was co-captain of the soccer team and we were flailing. Things weren’t all bad. We had good players—some great—and were doing well in league matches. But for some reason this season, several players were rebelling against the coach. Perhaps some of it was resentment about the intense focus on fitness, with brutal sprinting drills … Read more

What to Do If You Work for an Unethical Organization

What to Do If You Work for an Unethical Organization by Triple Crown Leadership

Article Summary: Here we describe what you can do if you work for an unethical organization, including specific tips and actions. +++ What should you do if you work for an unethical organization? In a previous article, we outlined how to determine if you work for an unethical organization. In that article, we described toxic … Read more

Are You Working for an Unethical Organization?

Article Summary:  Some organizations are unethical. Here we outline how you can determine if your organization is unethical. Our next article will outline what you can do about it. +++ How can you determine if you work for an unethical organization? No organization is perfect. All leaders are fallible. But some organizations are downright unethical, … Read more

Ethical Challenges Across Industries—Implications for You

Ethical Challenges Across Industries

Some industries are ethically dirty, with widespread corruption, while others are clean. Most are somewhere in between. What are the signs of ethical challenges in an industry—and what to do about it? Many industries get good marks overall, including consulting, education, electronics, health, nonprofits, and more. Other industries are known for having ethical challenges. Examples … Read more

Character-Infused Leadership

Character should be the cornerstone of your leadership. “Great leadership is a product of great character.” -Abraham Lincoln   The Future of Ethics Professor Corey Ciocchetti led a conference recently on “The Future of Ethics” at the University of Denver (DU). It was superb. His keynote address focused on “character-infused leadership.” The Daniels College of … Read more

Ethical Leadership: Our Gamechanger

(This presentation was given on April 27, 2022, by Bob Vanourek at the University of Denver’s Elevate Ethics 2022 Event, hosted by the Daniels College of Business and the Institute for Enterprise Ethics.) “Elevate Ethics.” What a wonderful title. I want to speak tonight about ethical leadership, my passion. How can we be more ethical … Read more

Boards and Servant Leadership

Writing a half-century ago, Robert Greenleaf already saw a new and more active role for board members.* In his groundbreaking book, Servant Leadership, Greenleaf had a chapter on “Trustees as Servants.” He wrote: “This chapter is an argument in support of trustees choosing to be servants.” Greenleaf felt organizations (and their boards) were underperforming: “… … Read more

The Importance of Heart in Leadership

head and heart

In “triple crown leadership,” our framework for how to build organizations that are excellent, ethical, and enduring, both head and heart are required for exceptional leadership. In most workplaces, it’s almost all head power. We need much more heart power in leadership. The way most leaders go about identifying and developing talent is utterly insufficient … Read more

Tribute to General Jack Chain—An Extraordinary Leader

A great leader and our dear family friend, Four-Star Air Force General John T. (Jack) Chain died peacefully in his sleep this month at the age of 86. All who knew Jack mourn his loss and are grateful for the time he had with us. Jack and his dear wife Judie were neighbors of Bob … Read more

Leadership and the Ethics Imperative

It’s one thing to achieve outstanding results. It’s another thing to do so ethically, especially when others are cutting corners. Operating ethically is the second imperative of what we call “triple crown leadership” (excellent, ethical, and enduring). To us, “ethical” means acting in accordance with accepted principles of right and wrong: acting with integrity. Leaders … Read more

The Importance of Integrity in Leadership

Leadership involves so many difficult challenges and exceptional behaviors and mindsets. These days, we ask much of our leaders. When I ask workers to quickly name the qualities that arise in their minds when they hear the word “leader,” I am instantly assaulted by a barrage of words: vision, charisma, confidence, clarity, responsibility, results, judgment, emotional … Read more

The Importance of Trust in Leadership

There are many ways to think about leadership. For some, as we have seen, it is about control or power. For others, it is about achievement or recognition. For others, thankfully, it is about people and service, along with higher purpose and positive impact. Since leadership by definition involves a relationship between leaders and followers—and, more … Read more

The Root Cause of Ethical Failings (and Our Political Dysfunction)

Scandals. Fraud. Abuse of power. Greed. Corruption. Tax evasion. Coverups. Once rare occurrences, coming back to haunt us every decade or so, these are now front and center in our daily lives and our daily news cycle. We see them in government, in business, and even in nonprofits and some religious organizations. It seems as … Read more

Leadership Lessons from The Lord of the Rings

Leaders Venture into the Unknown “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Bilbo Baggins Leaders Step Up “I will take the Ring,” Frodo said, “though I do not know the way.” … Read more

What’s So Hard About Ethics?

Why are ethical breakdowns in organizations so common? Why do so many good people make bad decisions?  Look at the “wall of shame” of organizations abusing trust recently: AIG, Barclays, Bear Stearns, BP, Countrywide Financial, Galleon Group, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING, Johnson & Johnson, Lehman Brothers, MF Global, Standard Chartered, Walmart, and many more.  It’s … Read more