From Front Line to Bottom Line to Out

Accountability Personal leadership


The key to the Character Triangle is to help provide a guide post for our actions.    We are very human and make stupid mistakes. But the Hewlett Packard Board’s removal of Mark Hurd, former CEO of HP, may be the character story of the year. Having a former pornography star for customer meetings, sexual harassment, expense account issues and more….holy cow. Perhaps the NYT article added more dimension regarding the way Mr. Hurd apparently disrespected fellow employees. Whatever, the fall from the pedestal, ala Tiger Woods, is a long, long, long way down.

Mr Hurd’s own quote: “This is a painful decision for me to make after five years at H.P., but I believe it would be difficult for me to continue as an effective leader at H.P. and I believe this is the only decision the board and I could make at this time.  As the investigation progressed, I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at H.P.”

Mr. Hurd has millions of dollars to help salve his character wounds but I wonder how much of it he would give up to regain his reputation, whatever the facts.

I never want to use the Character Triangle (CT) as a self righteous evaluation and hammer to bludgeon others. Only Mark Hurd and the Board likely know the facts. And I trust and hope Hurd is in a state of deep self reflection. The CT is however, all about a constant framework and reminder regarding how you and I think and act. But watching and learning from others is important. And the song Amazing Grace often may be an appropriate tune to quietly hum.

And for most of us, well, we need a continual self reminder of how to make living with character a habit. It is a slippery and fast slope downward when we lose our way; and we all are vulnerable.

Whether high profile cases or our own minor daily skirmishes, a habit system of CT helps shine a light.  We all need to use that beacon in the choice we make and the actions we take.

I’m going to continue to be self accountable, respectful, and abundant,

with Character,