JS Tip 438: Leaders and Caring

From the Leadership Workshops: Leaders and Caring

Leaders care about the people they lead.

Some of you have heard these examples before. They’re still good examples. They’re worth repeating.  

  • Ben Vandervoort

    In 1944, on D-Day, Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Vandervoort led the Second Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, on their jump into Normandy.

    In 1989, the Army’s Command and General Staff College identified him as the outstanding combat leader of World War II.


    When notified of the award, LTC Vandervoort refused to accept the award until it specifically honored his men as well as it honored him.

    He cared about the people he led.

    Charlie Bayless

    The Tucson storm flooded highways and roads. Broken trees knocked out miles of power lines.

    Tucson Electric 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, was the company CEO, Charlie Bayless.

    He cared about the people he led.

Okay. Think about this. What does leadership like this do for an organization?

Someone who was there said of Charlie Bayless—

While Charlie was CEO, morale, productivity, customer service, and profits improved. He was the prime mover. The people loved him. He believed in cooperation, inclusion, and respect. He listened to people. And they still tell stories about him.

We’ll continue the discussion.

Mark Brooks