Tapping the Fount - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Tapping the Fount


Pharmaceutical Executive


Lessons from Home and Office

My mom was a wonderful mentor and role model for me. She taught me a lot about doing the right thing; there are ways that each of us can tap the fount of integrity within us, and channel it toward others with far-reaching results. The lessons I learned from Rose Flaum were many, but the one that seems to stick in my mind throughout the years is "try and do something good every day."

I also learned something about doing the right thing from Bill Steere, former CEO of Pfizer. He often spoke about the "Performance Review." Most managers typically spend one minute or so telling a subordinate about the good things they've done, and the next 30 on what they need to improve. Steere, however, focuses on building up the positive attributes of his people, which is a lot more motivating than focusing on the weaknesses.

Extend this philosophy to the "real world," and watch what happens—not just around you, but to you. The next time someone on the street asks for help, choose to see the potential for good and do the right thing, not the so-called correct thing or the easiest thing.

As far as leadership is concerned, there is only the doing from moment to moment, for leadership is about action, not words. Do the right thing; it will make you a better person, and certainly a better leader.

Sander A. Flaum is managing partner of Flaum Partners and chairman, Fordham Graduate School of Business, Leadership Forum. He can be reached at


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