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Leadership, um… Well, It Leads

April 13, 2012

It’s been a busy week here at Cynical/Optimism central.  I’m glad Lynn chimed in on the mom thing.  I’m uniquely unqualified to talk about the job moms do, other than to note that mine must be on the path to sainthood after she raised me (very well, thank you).

I wanted to focus on something else, even if it’s getting a little old, but first the new

Best Buy (BBY: 22.04, -0.20, -0.88%) is reportedly probing former CEO Brian Dunn’s personal life to see if he misused company assets while having an alleged affair with a female subordinate.

The company did not immediately respond to for this story, but a spokesman told TheWall Street Journal that details would not be disclosed until the board’s audit committee completes the review.

Well, that’s wonderful.  This guy was a perfect example of all that’s right in business, growing from an hourly worker at a local store all the way to running the company.  He should be an example to everyone that there are paths to success that don’t involve getting an arts degree and protesting on the street (for the record, there are many paths to success with an arts degree… it’s just that anything involving sleeping in the street probably is a derailer).  Instead, he’s now figuring out how to pick up the pieces of his life (and I hope he and his family work this out) while also marring the life of a 29-year-old lady who probably also had career aspirations.

Contrast that with this one over here.

Honorable. It was the word I chose to summarize Rick Santorum’s campaign and it’s the word Joe Klein chose, as well. Say what you want about Rick Santorum — that he was whiny or too social-issues-centric or a longshot candidate from the start — but his campaign was an object lesson in the winningness of integrity and humility:

I don’t know that I believe Rick Santorum was the best choice for the Republican nominee, but I certainly agree that he got into the campaign for the right reasons, and it appears that he decided to leave for the right reasons as well.  It’s an exmaple of leadership that more people could use.  My respect for a guy who can decide that enough’s enough in regards to putting a strain on his family.  A true leader is unselfish at the core, and it’s eventually very clear whether your particular leader is that way or not.

This hits especially close to home given that friends of mine are going through a family situation now that I wouldn’t wish on anyone (death of a spouse/mom).  Seeing my friend drop everything to ensure that last bit of time and togetherness makes me want to ensure that I do a much better job of setting my faith and family priorities well ahead of fleeting success or selfishness elsewhere.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 13, 2012 8:54 am

    There is a lot of analysis about what causes people like the Best Buy exec to make such a stupid decision for such fleeting ends (“Mistakes were made but not by me” talks about Watergate and quotes Chuck Colson – going into great depth about the deceptiveness of power). It really comes down to self deception & not intentionally keeping things in your life that force you to face the fact you are a mortal, who is flawed, and not a god who can make their own rules. One tactic is keeping the Lincoln cabinet method – listen to your detractors & don’t believe your own hype.

    There’s a really fine line when it comes to improving the world vs. just complaining about someone else not doing a good job and balancing that with making sure your family isn’t sacrificed on the altar of ambition masked as altruism (many pastors unfortunately fall into this – thinking that shepherding God’s flock is somehow not inclusive of shepherding ones children). While we need people willing to change the world (Wilberforce, Lincoln, Wesley) – not everyone should hold them up as a role model to emulate

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