A leadership coach draws on the stories of CEOs and others in a book that focuses on developing character, not unchecked ambition
Here’s something even scarier than Donald Trump’s hairdo: A lot of people who are just starting out in business have taken many of their ideas about how to succeed from The Apprentice. In some ways, that’s exactly what they shouldn’t do, says leadership coach Stephen H. Baum in What made jack welch JACK WELCH: How Ordinary People Become Extraordinary Leaders (Crown Business, $24.95) www.crownbusiness.com, written with my friend Dave Conti.
“While the show teaches the value of hard work, outside-the-the-box thinking, and resourcefulness, it also displays the contestants scheming, manipulating, feigning team spirit, and lying to beat both their teammates and their competitors for the single position in Trump’s organization,” writes Baum. “It promotes a ‘win at all costs’ culture. Had these stories taken place in a real company with real colleagues, most of the young executives would have earned the enmity, not the respect, of others. They continually display many of the hallmarks of [pretenders] and too few of the hallmarks of real leadership. Who in the world would trust them enough to want to follow them? No one I know and respect would hire them or work for them.”
Baum offers an antidote to the me-firstism of The Apprentice in a book that taps the stories of leaders such as Rudy Giuliani, Cathleen Black, Gordon Bethune, Gen. Tommy Franks and former Sen. Bob Kerrey, now president of the New School. So his book could be a fine gift for a recent graduate who knows there’s more to success that the show lets on but isn’t sure what it is. Baum www.stephenbaumleadership.com expresses a cornerstone of his philsophy early on: “Character means doing the right thing when no one is there to see as well as when your actions or visible or will likely be revealed to the world at large.”
© 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.