Arthur J. Athens, director of the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the U.S.
He said Athens is a true expert when it comes to developing leadership qualities, and that ethics is at the heart of the matter.
Living in a complex, ever-changing and volatile environment requires a new approach to working and leading, Athens
high-school lacrosse coaching experience as an example, he
urged people to go back to the fundamentals.
Facing the challenge of whipping into shape a lacrosse squad that had been a losing, undisciplined team, he
turned to teaching its members the basics in order to succeed, looking to develop their individual skills efficiently and identify their strengths.
"Great organizations have leaders who are superb at the fundamentals," Athens
When one of his
sons who joined the armed forces was dispatched to a hot spot in Iraq in a leadership position, Athens
advised him about the experience of a friend, who, in 1978, led a platoon as a brand new lieutenant.
The friend, who became Athens'
mentor, referred to these questions as the basis of leadership fundamentals as the three Cs: competence, courage and compassion.
"That's what leadership is all about," Athens
Humility also is a great attribute of leadership, he
said, noting that selfish and selfless are "about an inch apart in the dictionary."