The Real Me

March 19th, 2013  | 

Published in Leadership

Pete Townshend of The Who wrote “The Real Me” 40 years ago as the second song in the rock opera Qudrophenia.

The song asks, “Can you see the real me?”

It’s a great question for leaders.

Lance Armstrong was dethroned because his behavior did not align with who he said he was. Manti T’eo of Notre Dame was either duped by or dishonest about an imaginary girlfriend.

One of 2012’s most notable cases of identity meltdown was the bankruptcy of Hostess Brands, makers of the Twinkie, Wonderbread and other products.

Today a bankruptcy court will determine if these brands will survive.

A quick look back indicates company’s failure was caused by greedy private equity firms, out-of-touch management and stubborn unions that saddled the company with restrictive health, pensions and work rules. These groups forgot what business they were really in and what their brands stood for. Their tunnel vision about each other blinded them to the realities of the marketplace.

Leadership is built on trust. And trust is earned by leaders who are authentic and vulnerable, fair and consistent, and smart and selfless.

Who are you?

About the Author: Greg Bustin is an executive coach, consultant and speaker who has delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. Greg advises leaders at some of the world’s most admired companies, and his views about leadership have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., Investor’s Business Daily, Leader to Leader, and other major publications. He’s written five leadership books. His newest book, How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices (Sourcebooks), examines decision-making in history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies. How Leaders Decide

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