from an expert in the field:
Stephen Powell, executive director of Mentoring USA (
was honored by the White House in 2012 as a Champion of Change for
following in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Is cash on its way out?
AS THE LEADER of a nonprofit organization and as a
parent, I am mindful of how
important it is to model positive behavior and use language meant to encourage
and not discourage young up-and-coming leaders.
When children fall, we encourage them to get up,
dust themselves off and keep moving. When we
make a mistake, we are often encouraged to reevaluate the situation, make the necessary adjustments
and keep pressing forward.
So when it comes to the question of whether a
fallen leader can still promote a good cause, the
answer is yes—after time has passed, of course, as
circumstances may vary.
No leader is immune to a fall, because leaders are
human. However, certain flaws, such as arrogance,
are sometimes the precursor to the fall of a leader,
regardless of how good the cause. So leaders should
be selected carefully, using a keen sense of discernment, one that protects the cause in the long run.
A strong leader demonstrates exemplary
character and is often a source of inspiration for
many, qualities that are necessary in elevating the
impact and visibility of a good cause. A wise
leader removes and/or minimizes distractions in
an effort to function in an orderly and purpose-
Percentage reflects votes
received by February 15, 2013.
Is renting a home
better than buying?
YES: 26% NO: 74%
votes received by
January 31, 2013.
from an expert in the field:
Ronald E. Riggio is the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and
Organizational Psychology at Claremont McKenna College, a blogger for
Psychology Today (
ship) and author of a dozen books.
WHILE A FALLEN leader
can certainly reform and
do good, the position of
leader—whether in government, business or elsewhere—comes with
certain responsibilities. Foremost among those
is to be a “good” leader. By that I mean a leader
who is not only effective at achieving the goals
of the group or organization that he or she leads,
but a leader who also does the right thing.
Take the recent case of Lance Armstrong. He
was a role model for many, and because of this he
was able to raise millions of dollars toward a cure
for cancer. Armstrong was found, however, to
have won his races through cheating. While his
charitable work has had an impact, it does not
negate the abuse of his leadership position.
Armstrong is not alone. There are dozens of
other high-profile leaders who lied or cheated to
get ahead. Some, such as the executives at Enron,
get caught, but many others get away with unethical behavior simply because they are effective in
achieving goals, and that is the problem.
All too often, we confuse being an effective
leader with being a good leader. A good leader
is one who accomplishes goals, but who also has
Opinions expressed are those of
the individuals or organizations
represented and are presented
to foster discussion. Costco and
The Costco Connection take no
position on any Debate topic.
MARCH 2013 The Costco Connection 19