July 6, 2004

Negative Role Models

Old news by now, but John Kerry has selected John Edwards as his running mate for this fall’s presidential election. What I found particularly interesting was a line buried in one of the various news reports I read on the web this morning, which said that Kerry, still stinging from the fact that he heard the bad news that he was not to be Al Gore’s running mate in 2000 from the media and not from Gore himself, had kept this decision-making process deliberately private up until the very last moment to avoid making that same mistake and to spare the feelings of those he passed over for the job. How many of us in business have learned things over the years from negative role models, as much as from positive role models? I actually wrote a comment in an upward review several years back that I learned a ton from observing my boss, but that much of what I was learning was what not to do! I think negative role models can be an even more powerful influence on leaders than positive role models over time, although both are clearly important. My experience with this tracks this decision of […]