Press Room

Washington Technology: Turn Off Your TV: What I’ve learned teaching leadership…

Posted at October 18, 2016 | By : | Categories : Press Room,Thought Leadership | Comments Off

MacB President and CEO Sidney E. Fuchs was singled out for his great leadership in the following Washington Technology article, written by the Honorable Dr. John Hillen  and published on October 17, 2016:


The MBA students in my Leadership class are working professionals, early-mid career.  Many of them are discerning the change in their career path I referred to in an earlier column, where one is relied on more for strategic and interpersonal abilities rather than technical and tactical skills.

It is a pretty elevated curriculum – last week we were reviewing author Jim Collin’s concept of “Level 5 Leadership” – leaders characterized by a combination of humility and yet fierce resolve.  We’ve spoken often of the importance of character, and how the more one advances in a career the more the source of authority becomes who you are, not what you can do.  We’ve spoken of being the chief ethical officer in your organization, of inspiring rather than directing people.

And then the inevitable question comes:  “But you know, I was watching the presidential debate last week and…….”  Ugh.  I thought for a while about trying to rationalize and explain the differences in broadcasted political leadership during campaigns versus the attributes of running a large and complex organization, but it didn’t fly.  After all, I am teaching over the semester that leadership, character, and emotional intelligence are inseparable from gaining followers and inspiring performance in an organization or a community – regardless of context.

So now I just hold up my hand and say, “Turn off your TV.”   It reminds me of when I used to hear my sons’ football coaches tell them in youth and high school football.  “Don’t watch the pros, you’ll learn all the wrong things, just listen to me.”

My point here is not to pile on the opprobrium that has been rightly heaped on this current political campaign season.  My point here to my students was that we don’t have to look to presidential candidates or Fortune 500 CEOs (who only seem to get in the news when they get in trouble – which is often enough unfortunately) as exemplars.  They need to look around more locally to find the example of leaders who are doing the right things and showing the amazing results that spring out of good leadership.

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