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Beth A. Brooke

Beth A. Brooke

Beth A. Brooke is Global Vice Chair of Public Policy, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement at Ernst & Young and is a member of the firm’s Global Management Group and a member of its Americas Executive Board.

When nobody is looking

It says more about the public's hunger for role models and heroes than about leadership. Everyone today that appears at first, or even over time, to be a role model or a hero ends up disappointing us. We have examples everywhere in sports, in religion, in business and in politics. Whether they disappoint with their inappropriate behaviors or lack of ethics, integrity or moral values, they disappoint.

Captain Sully performed a heroic deed. And then he didn't disappoint on any dimension of values and ethics. Instead, the more we learned, the more we admired. Authentic leader or authentic role model, he was the last one off the plane, and he didn't have to tell us that. Everyone else did. We admired that. It was refreshing. His behavior and his words matched. They matched at first and they matched as we learned more.

The public is desperate for authentic role models. It is sad that today we celebrate such few role models. Those whose behaviors and words are the same as they would be even when nobody is looking. We should celebrate all the heroes and role models we encounter everyday whose behavior and words are exemplary and full of integrity, even when nobody is looking.

By Beth A. Brooke

 |  October 19, 2009; 3:53 PM ET
Category:  Leadership personalities Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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