Posted by: Knightbird | October 26, 2010

I Couldn’t Say It Any Better

“…In all systems that I’ve had anything to do with – public, private, non-profits – there are elements that are common in all cases without regard to geography, without regard to language, without regard to ethnicity or anything else, and it’s about people. And for me those three things are these: Everywhere in the world, even if people can’t articulate it crisply, every human being wants to be treated with dignity and respect every day – not once in awhile or when it’s convenient for someone else. But every human being has a deep desire and need to be treated with dignity and respect. The second thing you find universally true is that people want to make a contribution to what they do in their lives in order to give meaning to their lives. The third thing that I think is universally true is that everyone else would like for someone else to notice that they did it. And I tell you those because I think they are fundamental to the question of leadership because I think if you can produce those three characteristics in an organization you’d lead, you have the potential to do whatever it is that you’re doing at a level that most commentators and analysts would say is impossible. Because when those three levels are present, people have the potential of contributing in a way that is structured and organized and disciplined and fulfilling and they will reward the leadership by bringing things together in a way that will defy imagination.”


Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill Keynote Speech

The Summit, 2002

Carlson School of Management

University of Minnesota


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