Common Sense in Leadership: Prague Leadership Institute Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 1

The Prague Leadership Institute Newsletter

Developing Leaders for the 21st Century

Dear Readers,

Pepper de Callier
This month’s newsletter addresses two very timely topics, given today’s business and political environment. Professor David Bennett closes his three-part series with his observations on ethics, values and trust and how they form the foundation of moral leadership. David has seen the world of leadership from both sides of the desk, first as Chief Operating Officer of what was the world’s largest franchise organization, Mail Boxes, etc., and from the academic side studying, interviewing, and writing about leaders in his role as Professor of Leadership and Director of Outreach at California State University San Marcos. Thanks, David, for a wonderful contribution to our library with your three thought-provoking articles.

Also, this month, the driving force behind an extremely successful senior women’s mentoring project in the Czech Republic, Muriel Anton, CEO of Vodafone Czech Republic, shares her thoughts on a life-changing experience: mentoring. Thank you, Muriel, for a compelling, and personal, view of this critically important topic.

Each month two members of The Prague Leadership Institute’s faculty, or invited guest authors, share their thoughts on a wide variety of leadership-related topics. To all of them goes our sincere thanks for taking the time, and having the generosity of spirit, to share their wealth of experience.

Thank you, too, for taking the time to read our newsletter and for your support.

David Bennett

Moral Leadership vis-à-vis Ethics, Values and Trust

David Bennett
Director of Outreach, College of Business at California State University San Marcos

This article focuses on moral leadership and the importance that ethics, values and trust play in a leader’s role in the formation and maintenance of an effective organization. I will discuss the relationship between ethics, values, and trust and the critical balance one must maintain in these three areas to be a moral leader. It is my opinion that never in the history of leadership have leaders had to “stand up and be counted” because of the unethical behavior and decision-making. These poor choices have created skeptical opinions in society by their actions. I could talk endlessly about the numerous Enrons of the world and the continuous unethical and immoral behavior and actions of certain leaders that you read or hear about on an almost weekly basis. Never before has leadership been under such scrutiny and the ethical practice of moral leadership been so important.

Jesse Jackson said, “Leadership cannot just go along to get along…leadership must meet the moral challenge of the day.” I would like to add to that by saying leaders must meet the moral challenges of the day through their focus, attention and practice of ethics, ensuring a values-based culture and never allowing trust to be compromised.
Muriel Anton

A Life-Changing Experience

Muriel Anton
Vodafone Czech Republic

I keep meeting accomplished, interesting, and successful Czech women. But when I ask who helped them to achieve their career goals, I usually hear - "Nobody".

This is a completely unknown concept for me.

Even during my university years, I had mentors. People, who helped me, guided me and were interested in my career development. First was a gifted teacher and pianist, Professor Lincoln. During the summer period where we had four months off school, he would give me weekly piano lessons. I didn’t have any money to pay him. But he did not care; he just didn’t want me to slow down my progress. After two years of studying with him, Professor Lincoln retired. I tried my third year in the program with his replacement, but could not find the same motivation, the same drive and devotion. I ultimately left for another faculty.

My second mentor at university was a Business faculty Professor Alice Nakamura. She lived with her husband a few blocks off campus and she always walked past my study spot on her way home. She’d often stop to chat, and in my last year of the University of Alberta Commerce Program, started asking me the important question about "what next". 
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