Last night, I read an interview in Success magazine with the former CEO of Dial Corp, as in soap. Herb Baum is also the author of "The Transparent Leader". He defines a transparent leader as someone who does the right thing regardless of the consequences. It's about being honest and open in everything that you do as a leader.
In the interview, Herb tells a story of an individual who epitomizes a transparent leader. While CEO at Dial, Herb was on vacation in London and received word that, Reuben Mark the CEO of Colgate, was urgently trying to reach him. Herb was not pleased as he thought that it was a hostile takeover attempt and here he was on vacation. He finally returned the call to learn that Reuben was in possession of Dial's marketing plan for the coming year. Colgate was number 2 in the market to Dial's number 1 at the time. Dial had given the marketing plan to their salespeople and one who had left the company to go to Colgate gave it to his supervisor at Colgate. The supervisor called the CEO, who told him not to look at it and to send it to him immediately. Reuben assured Herb that he hadn't looked at it as it would be a violation of Colgate's Code of Ethics and he was returning it to Herb directly. Wow, if only the leadership at Penn State had practiced transparent leadership; where would they be today?
At WMHS, we have a set of Core Values that we take very seriously. My expectation is that every decision that we make is based on our Core Values of Integrity, Innovation, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence. I can only hope that I, along with our leadership, model ourselves after Reuben Mark as the epitome of a transparent leader in everything that we do.