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U.S. Naval Academy speaker calls humility 'a forgotten virtue' of leadership

In an era where everyone from Wall Street CEOs to professional athletes find themselves mired in controversies of ethics, it is easy to wonder: where have all the leaders gone?



Col. Athens

According to Colonel Arthur J. Athens of the U.S. Naval Academy, the issue is that many individuals in positions of leadership have lost sight of what truly matters.

“Col. Athens speech touched on humility -- a quality that is overlooked in so many leadership situations,” said Christopher Martine ‘09. “Effective leaders employ humility to check their own egos and communicate appreciation and respect for their colleagues and team members."

Col. Athens spoke to Lehigh students, faculty and staff on Thursday, February 5, 2009, in Rauch Business Center's Perella Auditorium. His talk was sponsored by the Lehigh University chapter of the Society of Leadership and Success, which is part of the Enterprise Systems Center.

“This event gave students the opportunity to learn from a highly regarded expert on ethical leadership,” said Christopher. “We believe that strong leadership qualities are the competitive edge that employers value.”

Col. Athens is the Director of the U.S. Naval Academy's Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership. He has a diverse background spanning the military, higher education, and non-profit organizations.

Col. Athens has served as the Naval Academy's first Distinguished Military Professor of Leadership; Commandant of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; the Executive Director of OCF, a worldwide non-profit organization helping military personnel integrate their faith and profession; a White House Fellow under President Ronald Reagan; the Special Assistant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator following the Space Shuttle Challenger accident; and a U.S. Marine Corps Officer who retired in July 2008 with over 30 years of combined active duty and reserve service in significant command, staff, and instructional positions.

For more information on the student organization Society of Leadership and Success, please visit the group's Web site.

—Amanda Fabrizio


Posted on Monday, February 09, 2009

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