Archive for the ‘About The Quintessential Leader Blog’ Category

Many readers of this blog have asked how they can help get this blog publicized. Here’s how. 

Subscribe to this blog to get email updates so you don’t miss any posts. There is an email subscription option at the top of right-hand column. That will ensure that you get every new post and it will give you an opportunity to read all of them at your pace. I know the posts are lengthy and we live in a “quick-hit” world, but I strongly encourage you to take the time to read them, think about them, respond to them, and share them.

tql-logoOnce you read them, please share all the blog posts you read and like here with your social media networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, Reddit, etc.).

Think about this each time you read a post. Then do it right then. 

If you press “Like” on a post from this blog on The Quintessential Leader Facebook page, then share the post, with your thoughts or with a quote from the post that resonated with you, on your own Facebook page.

Think about this each time you like a post and do it then. Liking a post is not enough. Sharing a post means more people get to see what you think about, like, and that reflects values and principles you share. If you don’t share the values and principles of this blog or of a particular post, then let me know why you aren’t sharing it.

This blog is interactive. I need your input – comments or messages – to know why you agree or disagree. Please comment on each post. Nothing, short of profane or inflammatory, will not be approved. And I promise to answer each comment with respect and thoughtfulness.

This blog also has links to The Quintessential Leadership eBooks. If you have not read them yourselves, then I ask you to purchase them (they will not break the bank for most of this blog’s readers). I’ve had a lot of endorsements for these books from people who have not purchased nor read them.

If you have purchased and read them, then please leave feedback (at Amazon, on the blog, or here). 

If you have purchased them or do purchase them, and they have provided valuable information for you, then please include links to The Quintessential Leader’s store to share them with others and when you share posts.

One book, Building Trust and Being Trustworthy  is also available on Amazon in paperback version and Kindle version.

For those of you who have already purchased copies of The Quintessential Leadership eBooks or the Amazon versions, thank you!

I encourage you, if you have found them helpful and instructive, to post on your social media sites a direct link to to the eBooks and share why they helped you, or to go to Amazon, if you purchased the book there, and leave a review that explains how the book was helpful to you.

All of this will help us get the word out about quintessential leadership and let people know there are real-world, practical application, and what-it-does-and-doesn’t-look-like examples of quintessential leadership.

Each one of you who reads this blog is part of my team. I cannot do this alone. I need each and every one of you to help me. Know that I appreciate, value, and count on you, just as I know you appreciate, value, and count on me. We’re in this together. It’s a team effort.

As a final note to this blog post, I’ve added a PayPal link to this blog for donations if you, the people who stop by here regularly, find the information presented here informative, helpful and useful. Please carefully consider a small donation to this blog.

There are many costs with running a blog. The information The Quintessential Leader provides is free to you, but not free to provide. To help offset the costs and keep the blog up and running, The Quintessential Leader needs your help.

The Quintessential Leader has only the shares and the donations with which to assess its value. Each of you who read this, in the end, determine what the information here is worth. So the value and the worth comes from the actions of The Quintessential Leader’s readers. You – each of you – must determine what that is to you, personally, and as a quintessential leader.

I thank everyone who stops by and hope and pray that when you leave you always have something of value to take with you. Even if it is a single sentence or a single thought that you take, I am thankful for the opportunity to share that with you. Please be sure to comment to let me know. Again, I will answer each and every comment and hope that we, together, can continue this dialogue for a long time.

I think long, carefully, and prayerfully about what I post here, because I am personally responsible for everything I say, do, and am. I thank you for supporting my efforts and humbly ask that you will continue, as you see fit, to do so.

Thank you all again. 

This blog post caught my attention today. I think this is something that we, as quintessential leaders, need to think deeply about.

I know a lot of us are “busy.” But the question we need to ask is ourselves is “doing what?” Are we busy for the sake of being busy and accomplishing little? Are we busy to the point that we have wrecked our lives in pursuit of for, what in the end, will be nothing? Or are we busy in a productive, life-changing – for ourselves and others – way that will have tangible results in the long-term? Or is our “busyness” simply nothing more than a waste of our and others’ time?

Tough questions. Tough answers.

But, my fellow quintessential leaders, we must ask and answer these questions. Honestly. If the answers find our efforts to be mere busyness and not life, team, personally-changing, then I challenge each of us to take a step back to focus on our priorities, what is important, and what matters.

After all, the only thing we take out of this life is our character and how well we have managed all the relationships we’ve committed to: to God and Jesus Christ first because every other relationship we manage and commit to is based on this. To our spouses. To our families. To our teams. To humanity.

I certainly know I have a lot of work to do in each of these. What about you?

Campari and Sofa

Stop the glorification of busy.My friend Gavin was telling me about a conversation he had with some Dutch colleagues. Gavin, and his compadre Georgina, find that the sheer volume of work they are confronted with on a weekly basis is just un-doable within the confines of a normal 8-hour work day. So they regularly put in 10-hour days at the office. And another couple of hours at home picking up emails. This causes all sorts of problems: they’re tired all the time, their spouses feel ignored, they don’t want to go out at night or over the weekend and they lose touch with friends.

Hmmfff…”, said their pals, “In Holland, if you were to work like that we would think you were not coping.”

“Am I”, he wondered, “not coping? Or am I doing more than I should? And if I am doing more than I should –  what should I stop doing? And…

View original post 1,063 more words

As a Southerner I’ve often had to face some of the challenges presented by Nick Sacco on this thought-provoking blog. But the questions he raises here are bigger than the American Civil War and the stereotypical views of Southerners and Northerners in the United States based on that conflict.

The subject of racism has, over the last twelve years, as someone who led multinational teams in New York City after 9/11/01 – after watching the World Trade Center towers fall up close and personal – and had to manage and counsel in depth understandable anger in juxtaposition to the reality that “not one size fits all” big-picture view that encompassed the multinational team I led and and served, has weighed heavily on my mind.

It weighed heavily on my mind growing up in the South. When I saw prejudice first-hand in my teenage days in blueberry fields in eastern North Carolina, I took a stand against it. I suffered a considerable amount of grief for my stand, but I wasn’t fired. I realized then that those giving me grief simply didn’t understand why what they were doing was so wrong. That, for me, was where I began to learn forgiveness.

We live in a world that divides. As quintessential leaders, our job is to bridge the divides as we are able. However, we must never compromise nor sacrifice the heart, soul, and mind of what quintessential leadership entails to effect a false or temporary or meaningless peace.

We must exercise the wisdom, the discernment, the understanding to know the difference.

Exploring the Past

… or simply racist? It is clear that the legacy of the Civil War is still with us 150 years after the first shots were fired. For all of its poor word choices and cringe-worthy moments, Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s song actually provides a glimpse into something quite revelatory. Memories are created, not self-evident. Oftentimes the memories we create about our past are used as coping mechanisms to make sense of events in our past that make us feel bad about our history and our ancestors who may have been complicit in perpetuating that history. Sometimes the goal of our memories is to also forget the past, as evidenced in the lyrics “let bygones be bygones.”

There are other interesting word choices in the song as well. The statement “Caught between Southern Pride and Southern Blame” is something many white Southerners have had to address at some point…

View original post 873 more words

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Eric Holder and a few other top administration officials gave a nod to quintessential leadership this week by giving back a portion 0f their salaries as U.S. federal government worker furloughs begin to take effect from the sequestration that began March 1, 2013.

U.S. President Barack ObamaPresident Obama will write a check for 5% of his salary to the U.S. Treasury each month,Secretary of State John Kerry while Secretary Kerry will donate his 5% to a charity that helps U.S. State Department employees. Attorney General Holder will write a check to the US Treasury for 14 days worth of his annual salary. Details of how the other members of the president’s Cabinet who are forfeiting a portion of their salaries have not been finalized.

While the actual amounts on money these three people in U.S. leadership positions is small, the symbolism of their gestures – and the quintessential leadership statement they make, is large. And the example they’ve set for the rest of those in leadership positions in the U.S. government is powerful.

To date, I have not read of anyone in the U.S. Congress following President Obama’s, Secretary John Kerry’s, Attorney General Holder’s, and the other Cabinet members’ examples by giving back a portion of his or her salary.

I have always found it interesting that time and again the United States Congress shows how devoid it is of quintessential leadership. While the governing body itself is a chaotic and ineffective mess, they routinely give themselves pay raises – while the people they supposedly represent continue to lose jobs, homes, and sometimes families because of the global economic crisis, which the U.S. Congress had no small part in contributing to because of all the financial lobbying money backing many of its members – and make sure they have the best of health care, consistent income, and guaranteed retirement. 

I doubt this was what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they spelled out the three branches of U.S. government in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution. What was supposed to have been a legislative body made up of the people, by the people, and for the people has become a cloister of the most wealthy and connected, by the most wealthy and connected, for the most wealthy and connected.

As with every human political system, the Grand Experiment was doomed to descend to its present state because of ever-present human nature, greed, and selfishness, and the inability of human beings to always strive to successfully go through the narrow gate of quintessential leadership consistently and continually.

As quintessential leaders, we should always be mindful that we are human beings too and we must always be checking our own positions as leaders, making sure that our intents, our attitudes, our motives, our actions, and our words are meeting the higher standard of quintessential leadership.

Have we done our check today?

The Quintessential Leader is now on Pinterest!

Please follow The Quintessential Leader on Pinterest for links to quintessential leadership resources.


Beneath today’s termination of Mike Price’s contract as head basketball coach at Rutgers University lies a very common story about the way many people in leadership positions now function and operate day-in and day-out.

Rutgers' head coach Mike Rice It’s interesting to see how much indignation about comes pouring forth, while the larger problem – and the bigger picture – is virtually ignored.

The reality is that this is a vivid example of a now very-common story line that shows how abuse of all kinds is allowed (and, often, encouraged), tolerated, and committed by people in leadership positions throughout every segment of society today. Committing abuse is present in some shape or form in every organizational construct today. It’s a reflection of a society that has come to accept the existence of abuse as being normal. As quintessential leaders, it is imperative that we are discerning and attentive so that we recognize abuse, no matter how subtly-shaded it is, and reject it as wrong and eliminate it wherever it exists.

Mike Price’s story as an abusive coach at the collegiate level is not unfamiliar. Bobby Knight at Indiana University and Woody Hayes at Ohio State come to mind almostBobby Knight Indiana University immediately.

Woody Hayes Ohio State UniversityHowever, as I discussed last year in “Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely,” regarding Penn State and which I discuss in detail in one of the components of Building Trust and Being Trustworthyall of the people in leadership positions at Rutgers have shown unquintessential leadership in this matter. Because this is the second time in 16 years, that we know of, this kind of abuse has occurred with Rutgers’ athletic program – it is obvious that allowing, tolerating, and committing abuse is accepted as standard operating procedure among those in leadership positions at Rutgers. And when those in leadership positions at an organization accept abuse, abusive behavior spreads throughout the organization.

But frequency of occurrence is not the most damning evidence that those in leadership positions at Rutgers University accept abusive behavior as being normal and okay. The back story to Mike Rice’s termination today, however, is.

One of Rice’s coaching assistants, Eric Murdock, brought Rice’s abusive behavior toward players – recorded on video from practices from 2010-2012 – to the attention of Rutgers University’s athletic director, Tim Pernetti, early last summer. Rice fired Murdock in July 2012. Pernetti suspended Rice for three games and fined him $50,000 in December 2012 after the attorneys for Murdock, who sued Rutgers University for wrongful termination, produced video proof of Rice’s abusive behavior toward his players in November 2012.

If Murdock had not threatened to release the video tape to larger audiences, this would have been the only action that Rutgers University would have taken against Mike Rice. However, once the video became public, then those in leadership positions at Rutgers University – and this includes those in executive leadership positions outside the athletic department – decided the behavior of Rice was egregious enough to terminate his contract with the university.

And therein lies an unquintessential leadership philosophy: it’s okay to do the wrong thing as long as you don’t get caught and/or no one else knows or finds out about it. Everyone in a leadership position at Rutgers University clearly embraces and believes this philosophy. By extension, this philosophy is being passed on as acceptable and normal to every student who attends Rutgers University. What does this say about how these students will act and behave when they get into leadership positions in their careers?

Think about that carefully for a while. It should make all of us in leadership positions and we, who are striving to be quintessential leaders in every aspect of our lives, stop and take stock of our own actions, behaviors and beliefs. Do we allow abuse? Do we tolerate abuse? Do we encourage abuse? Do we commit abuse? If we do, then we need to change completely. If we don’t, then we need to stay vigilant to ensure that what has become normal and acceptable behavior among those in leadership positions doesn’t sneak into our behaviors, beliefs, and actions or into the behaviors, beliefs, and actions of our teams.

Inevitably, many people in leadership positions may look at Mike Rice’s behavior and think “well, I’ve never cursed at, thrown things at, or physically pushed around those I lead, so I have never been abusive to anyone I’ve led or lead.” That is very dangerous thinking, because abuse has many faces.

We, as quintessential leaders, as I’ve said many times must be brutally honest with ourselves in examining who and what we are and do to ensure that the person we’re not the most dishonest with is ourselves. This is not easy, but it is absolutely necessary. Let’s all ask and answer the following questions about ourselves in our fearless self-examination of whether we have been or are abusive.

Have I ever implicitly or explicitly threatened someone because that person pointed out something wrong or flawed or inconsistent in me or my behavior?

Have I ever publicly embarrassed or harassed someone to try to force that person to agree with me or see things from my point of view under the guise of helping that person?

Have I ever used the “I’m in charge and if you don’t like it, you can leave” statement to try to intimidate someone who had a different – but not wrong – perspective and/or opinion than I did?

Have I ever used the “silent treatment” to try to manipulate someone into agreeing with or going along with me?

Have I ever talked over someone’s head in an attempt to make that person feel inferior or ignorant?

Have I made general disparaging comments about the intelligence, the quality, the substance, and the efficacy of my teams to put them or keep them “in their place?”

If we answered “yes,” to any of these questions, we’re guilty of having been abusive. And this list of questions is not exhaustive. I urge all of us to think deeply about this subject and identify abuse so that we understand what it is we are fighting and must not allow to become part of our way of being or thinking or doing or speaking.

As human beings, we all tend toward abuse as a defense. It seems to be hard-wired into who and what we are. But, as quintessential leaders, we hold ourselves to a higher standard and part of that higher standard is treating everyone as we ourselves want to be treated. You don’t want to be abused. I don’t want to be abused. And it must be our highest priority not to be abusive in any part of our lives.

I spoke of the courage that quintessential leaders must have in my last post. This is a concrete example of what that courage looks like.