Leaders Need Inspiration


For a follow-up event to the inaugural Global Leadership Academy, GLA Alumni at Cummins invited the membership to a CEO Luncheon.

Leaders need inspiration.

Our inspiration came in the form of leadership thoughts provided by Cummin's CEO Tom Linebarger at Cummins Kelley Club Luncheon on Monday, 10.7.2013.

What inspires Tom Linebarger? Irwin Miller's quote on a Cummins brochure at Career Office; discovered by Tom - a document that led him on a journey from intern to Chairman/CEO.

"In the search for character and commitment, we must rid ourselves of inherited, even cherished biases and prejudices. Character, ability and intelligence are not concentrated in one sex over the other, nor in persons with certain accents, or in certain races, or in persons holding degrees from some universities over others. When we indulge ourselves in such irrational prejudices, we damage ourselves most of all and ultimately assure ourselves of failure in competition with those more open and less biased."

Thoughts on Leadership:

  • Learn and understand the business.
  • Leadership requires problem solving.
  • Leaders express through hard work.
  • Leadership is not a program, it is an attitude.
  • Continuously ask yourself, how do I make myself a more effective leader?
  • Continuously ask yourself, are you the leader that you are or the leader that you could be?
  • Changing others behaviors is easy compared to really changing your own behavior.
  • Leaders provide meaningful work and have had and are great bosses.

The commandments of good leadership:

  1. Know Yourself - have a leadership purpose
  2. Set high goals - have high expectations and consistent execution
  3. Recognize the importance of diversity - diversity of personality, of thought, and experience.
  4. Be open to feedback - leaders in high positions have less access to real, honest feedback. Continue to seek real, honest feedback.
  5. Build high performance teams - seek talent.
  6. Set tone for trust through vulnerability - we are all human. It is important to seek human understanding and be accountable for mistakes.
  7. Conflict is important - "good" conflict asks "are we solving the problem?"
  8. Prioritize coaching and developing talent - must have one-on-ones at least monthly.
  9. Communicate - pre-prep for meetings by providing content ahead. Facilitate discussion instead of lecture.
  10. Engage globally - seek diversity of ideas and alternate points of view.

Here's to Tom Linebarger for a thorough approach to leadership and the tactical execution of a leader's daily mantra.