JS Tip 417: Leadership and Action

From the Leadership Workshops: The Leadership Parts

The last of four parts. 

We’ve suggested leadership has three parts:

  1. Character
  2. Competence
  3. Action

We’ve talked of character and competence. Today we’ll talk of action.

It’s not enough to talk the talk. Leaders have to walk the walk.

Workers at Tucson Electric Power still tell this story:

The “Storm of the Century” came early that year.

Rivers and creeks brimmed their banks. Highways and roads flooded. Broken trees and lightning strikes knocked out miles of power cable.

Power crews worked around the clock. They slept in their trucks. They grabbed sandwiches and coffee whenever they could.

As they pulled cable at 3:30 in the morning, they noticed another figure in their ranks.

In dirty work clothes.

In muddy work boots.

With worn work gloves.

Pulling cable.

The company CEO.


    So what would you do for a leader like that?

    How might that example affect the climate of the company?

    Are workers in the break room going to talk among themselves, “You ain’t gonna believe who was out there pullin’ cable with us th’other night.”

    If you’d like more details about this CEO and the example he set, let us know.

    We love stories like this. We love this stuff.

    We really do.

    Mark Brooks