Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Respect and Responsibility

There are many characteristics of a strong leader. Some suggest a leader needs to be a people person, a conflict negotiator, or even a confident person. All of these are excellent traits. It was suggested to me by a man, Paul Carter, who has met every business leader in the country that having respect for others and always remembering your responsibility to God, family, and company. The very last words he spoke to me were over the phone. His words rang loud and clear as if he was in the room with me, "You have been entrusted with a very important role here. You obviously have the respect of David (the president of the university) and the board. You will honor God, your family, and this university by doing your best." It sounded like something straight out of a movie. The truth though is this is exactly the way Paul Carter lived his life. From the time he was the CFO and number two guy at Wal-Mart to the time he started his own company. His life was a tribute to the way he showed respect and responsibility. What if we used this notion as we conduct our tasks in higher education? If we showed respect to others and didn't ask for it, but in time received it ourselves, wouldn't a university run more smoothly? What if we put our priorities in order and took responsibility for things in our life? Paul Carter, though gone from this world, continues to live on in the lives of many he touched. His character was impeccable. Recently, the College of Business at Harding University was named in his honor. You can read more about the Paul R. Carter College of Business here.

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