Leadership by Example?

Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon has been featured in many stories; unfortunately, in many ugly stories – from Christopher Helman’s “America’s Most Reckless Billionaire” in October 2011 to Susan Adams’ “The Worst CEO Screw-ups of 2012” last December 2012 at Forbes.


So, is this another screwing of McClendon? No, but on discerning and becoming a good Leader.

At any rate, McClendon made several moves which defines abuse of power and conflict of interest – like, the personal use of company jets and running a $200M hedge fund trading oil and gas; not to mention that his company’s stock was down 20%, all those eventually leading him to resign as Chairman of Chesapeake Energy last May 2012.

Abuse of Power. When you’re on top, it’s quite tempting to believe that you are the law and you answer to no one – you then become quite arrogant.

Well, it’s not wrong to let your family and friends ride a personal plane, but it should be a private plane you paid for and not the corporate jet. To be a good leader, be a good example.

Arrogance eventually leads to poor decision-making.

Conflict of Interest. This is a no-brainer. Loyalty is an issue here. Time and effort, who would you give more specially if each one’s activities clash?

But then, have you ever thought of why people get into such “conflict”? Money. Favors. Power.

Thence, a key leadership attribute would be integrity. How do you determine it? Pretty hard if all you do is check one’s position and accomplishments – for sometimes when you come in, everything has already been set up for the picking; other times, more than effort is the stroke of luck. Thus, to give you an idea – determine one’s dedication. See the company culture or system one has developed; otherwise, check one’s conviction.

More than anything else, the strains of Leadership is seen in one’s Character.

What’s your take?