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Marshall Goldsmith
Executive Coach/Author

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith is an executive educator, speaker, coach and best-selling author. His most recent book is Mojo.

Confusing leadership and values

Q: In defending Craigslist against charges that it facilitates prostitution and casual sex and undermines the news business, founder Craig Newmark relies on an unwavering commitment to free expression, free markets and an open Internet. Is such an unwavering commitment to core principles the essence of leadership, or is leadership more about accommodating core principles to other social needs and values?

I believe that this question confuses 'leadership' and 'values'. Different people can have different values and still demonstrate leadership. If Craig Newmark wants to take a stand and be a leader in the fight for free expression, free markets and an open internet, that is his right.

He can be a great leader for his cause. If other people want to take a stand and be leaders in the fight against facilitating prostitution and casual sex, that is their right. They can be great leaders for their cause. Some great leaders demonstrate an unwavering commitment to their own individual core principles - for other great leaders being willing to be flexible and and accommodating to a larger group is a core principle.

By Marshall Goldsmith

 |  September 7, 2010; 10:16 AM ET
Category:  CEOs , Corporate leadership , Ethics Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Newmark fighting for free speech, upholding the law | Next: Voluntary standards not the same as mandatory law

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