One of my most recent illustrations of leadership is an executive I know who was invited to a black-tie dinner in another city. Instead of taking her husband as escort, she took her 11-year-old son. I can only begin to describe how this simple act affected senior executives in a client firm with whom she was in the early stages of establishing a relationship. They were deeply moved with admiration and respect. In the words of one: “Her choice spoke volumes about who she was as a person and the organization that would promote her to a senior position.” I think I can safely say that behavior would never be found in the most thorough survey of prescriptions for leadership. True leadership comes from who the person is – from his or her character.
Source: Viewpoint Leadership and the Learning Organisation by Charles F. Kiefer | Prism, Edition: Q3 1995