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The Values of Our Founders

I have come to know and admire my friend Carol Hexner, who is a very active and key member of the Values and Leadership Roundtable. An extremely talented executive coach, Carol is also a person of deep inner faith and consciousness.  She has become a valued colleague and mentor to me in our work at Intersections on Power and Values and especially the Leadership and Values Roundtable.

One of the most important gifts I received from Carol is the introduction to the writings of one of America’s great philosophers, Dr. Jacob Needleman.  One of the first books Carol insisted I read was Needleman’s “The American Soul, Rediscovering the Wisdom of our Founders.” She made the introduction in the context of our exploration of the role of values in the exercise of power by political, economic and cultural leaders in our society. And more specifically, the idea that there is such a thing as values based leadership that is significant and meaningful. It is a leadership that stems from core internal consciousness of others and community over egoistic wants and desires of our self.

Dr. Needleman’s work was featured this past July 4th week-end on the NPR syndicated show “On Being”. It is an a moving and thought provoking interview that is particularly appropriate during this July 4th week, and especially perhaps as our national leaders are struggling with some of the most important issues of our times. I strongly urge you to download the interview and sit back for a quiet hour and listen to the soft tones of Dr. Needleman and the interviewer Krista Tippet as they explore “The Inward work of Democracy.”

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