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  • (Day 639) What is Charisma?

    After writing about  Steve Jobs and his charisma, I started to wonder what the difference was between charisma and integrity.  Which characteristic is the most important? Are they related? Are they different?  Which of our leaders possessed these traits?

    There have been many leaders who  have charisma, Walt Disney, Martin Luther King, John Kennedy. Then there  is also… well…  Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, Osama Bin Laden. They had it too. These examples  must mean charisma can be used for both good or evil. Integrity, on the other hand can only be good, right?  Not so fast, we have had people do some horrible things in the name of  integrity. Rev Jones openly burned  the Koran and Anders Breivik murdered 69 people in Norway, both thought they had integrity and were doing the right thing for the future of society.

    I am visual person and was curious to see what images came up when I typed these words into Google. I started with charisma and received several pages full of a half dressed model Charisma Carpenter. I then changed my settings to safe strict search and tried again, the same images came up. All I could get was Miss Carpenter, page after page of her. So I guess in our world charisma is whatever she has.

    Then I typed in the word Integrity and looked for pictures. There was only one thing that stood out, several signs with the word integrity.  That was it, nothing else more  interesting or thought provoking, with the exception maybe of a compass.  From my intensive research project I am able to establish at least one truth from my research project. Charisam has much more appeal then integrity.

    For those of you who like to dig in a little deeper, here are is the definition of these words:

    Charisma is:

    1: a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure (as a political leader)

    2: a special magnetic charm or appeal <the charisma of a popular actor>

    Integrity is:

    1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility

    2: an unimpaired condition : soundness

    3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided

    What do you think the difference between Charisma and Integrity is?

  • (Day 637) If

    My son told me of this poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling written from a father to a son. In this case it is my son who is the teacher. It is interesting to note in he speaks of trusting yourself in the very beginning of the poem.

    If you can keep your head when all about you

    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

    But make allowance for their doubting too:

    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,

    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

    And treat those two impostors just the same:

    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings


  • (Day 636) Trusting Our Communities

    I met two new interesting people at lunch today, Allen and Varcy.  I guess it is no BIG surprise we ended up talking about trust and integrity.  Everyone seems to have an opinion on the subject and these folks were no exception. We talked for about an hour and at the end they let me take their picture.

    We spoke about how culture impacts our ability to trust. The culture we were speaking about was that of our family, community, and even the country. When it came to our country, we talked about getting the federal government to see trusting local communities is the way out of several current social problems. Allen and Varcy believe local people would absolutely  rise to the challenge of taking care of their own, if the government would trust them to do so. This is a bit of an over simplification of a longer conversation. However the basic thought is to do away with the entitlement mentality as it puts people in chains and disempowers families and communities. There is a need to shift to a responsibility culture, one where the individual is responsible for themselves and to their community.

    Are they right, or are these days gone forever?  What do you think?

    When it comes to the national debt  they had another ineresting suggestion. With the caveat that the government must get its spending under control, they again want the government to trust us to care about our own country. They suggested we put a box people could check on their tax returns to donate money towards the payoff the our national debt. Hmm, interesting idea, what is the downside?

    What do you think? Would you donate money to the government to pay off our debt? Would you trust them?

    When it comes to the stock market we also talked about greed vs fear and how when people are feeling scared they sell fast. When they are feeling trustful or opportunistic, the stock market goes up. We are trading on the deep fear side these days and it may be a while before we collectively trust our economy again. They seemed to think people are going to be more fearful for a long time to come. What do you think?   Are we getting more fearful or more opportunistic? I would like to hear your thoughts on all these questions.

    Thanks Allen and Varcy  for the great conversation, I trust you!

  • (Day 635) Values Lost

    I took these photo’s recently while on tour.  I was about to tell you the story of my experience,  but then I looked at them and I thought  - they tell their own story. What do you think they are saying.  I would like your reaction. What do think the story is – what do  they mean to you?

  • (Day 631) Low’s Laws Part II

    On day 630 of the Trust Tour I introduced you to Robert Low who is the author of Low’s Laws, a guide to effective leadership. Today we are talking about nobility, something that is desperately missing from our society. Thank you Robert  for your unique insight!

    Low’s Law #75: Nobility is not defined by position but rather is defined by actions.

    In days gone by in many countries there was a “Noble” class of people. Nobility was measured by position and in these cases position was a matter of birth. However, nobility is not a virtue that is guaranteed by position. In fact many people of “position” have proven to lack nobility. And many people from common roots have been examples of great nobility.

    The leaders at Enron were people of great position who very obviously lacked any nobility. Whereas people like, Dr. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mother Theresa were very humble people who demonstrated great nobility. Noble people understand servant leadership. They understand that their status in life is not as important as the needs of those they serve.

    A noble leader understands that their position is one of stewardship responsibility. They understand that it is not about them. It is about others! Nobility is not measured by your position. It is measured by your actions! Noble people understand Low’s Law #14 and do right or good voluntarily.

    Because you are the CEO—that does not automatically make you noble. Nobility will be measured by how you act and the legacy that you create. If you want to be a person of nobility—then act in noble ways. Be a servant to others. Make the lives of others better. Help people grow, allow customers to be satisfied, and provide shareholders a fair return. Be a good steward of the resources at your disposal.

    Special thanks to Todd Welch for inviting me to be on the Trust Tour. Amongst great social and economic unrest, Todd’s work and mission is one of great importance to our current and future generations.

  • (Day 630) Low’s Laws Part I

    Robert Low has created something called Low’s Laws. I was first introduced to these laws by Curtis Webb Jr., a student of professor Low’s at St Francis University.  Curtis was also a student of mine at our young entrepreneurs program. Thankfully he has kept in touch and continues to provide resources to the tour.

    Low’s Laws are an attempt to boil down basic management theory to its most simple terms. Low’s Laws are simple bits, or nuggets of wisdom, I have heard others say in the course of my day to day 31 year life as a manager and leader. They take complex concepts and reduce them to practical applications. What follows are a few of more than 100 of Low’s Laws that have been able to capture over the years.

    Low’s Law #14: Do the right things voluntarily!

    In today’s business world there is considerable discussion about matters that center on issues such as:

    · Integrity

    · Honesty

    · Values

    · Credibility

    · Honor

    Quite frankly in many instances such conversations are simply window dressing that many executives believe they need to have in order to maintain an image. Too often, they have a win at all cost mentality in their actions which belies the high minded rhetoric of their speech.


  • (Day 627) Trust Is About The Small Stuff

    I was having dinner with my extended family over the weekend.  I told them a story of how an acquaintance of mine skipped out on a beer tab.  It is all too common a situation where the waiter forgets to charge for a beverages, the customer notices the missing charge and decides to do nothing about it. The mindset seem to be it was their mistake and I am going to use it to my advantage.

    At the family dinner table we had a long discussion about what was the right thing to do.  There were differing points of view as to how each of us would deal with the situation: say nothing, pay the tab ourselves, call out the perpetrator etc. One family member suggested this was too small an issue to even be talking about. No one got hurt, why waste important time discussing it.  It was at that moment I noticed my sister taking out her iphone and reading aloud a quote from Ronald Reagan.  She had remembered it hanging in our fathers office many years ago. After she read it aloud the table went silent, seemingly endorsing the thought and ending the debate.  Here is the quote.


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The Trust Tour ended August 22, 2012 at 1:20pm EST
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