Leadership lessons

The names are familiar  -- Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast-Spectacor; Howard Stoeckel, president of Wawa; Joseph Zuritsky, chairman of the Parkway Corp.; Joe Frick at Independence Blue Cross. Scott D. Rosen, president of the Rosen Group staffing agency, interviewed them and 31 other top regional executives in a recently-published book "Wisdom at the Top: Lessons on Leadership and Life from 35 CEOs." 

At the end of the book, Scott wrote that after interviewing the executives, he saw beyond the stereotypes of the greed and irresponsibility of corporate leadership. "I was struck by the calmness, humility and openness of each CEO," he wrote.  "They view themselves as stewards and protectors of important resources -- most importantly people."

I'm looking forward to paging through this book, definitely. I don't think Scott asked them about their compensation philosophy, which is a question I always have.

Actually, Scott is a very interesting leader himself. A few years back, a magazine did an excellent profile of him when his company was in terrible straits. His willingness to discuss what went wrong was a real act of bravery -- essentially, he stopped paying attention, among other problems. I only wish I had written the piece.

It's wonderful to read everyone's lofty statements, but I'm getting impatient with it. What is difficult is to find real information about real business challenges and real struggles. And yet, it is that kind of information that really helps a struggling entrepreneur, or someone who is discouraged. In this world, there is entirely too much sugar-coating and not enough reality. It is the lack of reality that holds all of us back and leads to dangerous and ineffective isolation.