May 9, 2019 - Issue 19-19

Good Afternoon  ,

A few years ago, after 2 very successful years as Chief Pilot of a regional air freight carrier, I quite suddenly decided to retire early. 


After you read this article about Oprah Winfrey's early decision to leave 60 Minutes, you'll probably see why. Freelance writer Jessica Stillman relates Oprah's story, as she told it to a Hollywood Reporter interviewer.

Many times in these missives we've talked about the importance of authenticity...and integrity. We've identified integrity as the crowning trait of successful leaders. 

Being authentic is part of having integrity. You can't have integrity if you're forced to be inauthentic. Oprah knew that and cut the gig short.

Now back to my story...

For those first few successful years, I'd enjoyed considerable autonomy while I addressed serious morale and performance issues among our pilots. In mid-2009 I began to feel pressure from senior management to  "toughen up". To revert to the sorts of policies which I believe got us into the mess we'd just cleaned up.

After a few battles over this, I began to see that I couldn't stay in that position and be my authentic self. So I made my decision and retired within about six months.

Fortunately, we parted amicably! If I'd stayed very much longer, I'm sure the relationship with management would have turned ugly. And I'd have been internally compromised.

No, thanks!

Read Oprah's story here, and learn from it!

Authenticity is vital - for performance, and for psychological health. Believe it or not, it's also important for physical health!

John Stevens

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here.

Have a good story about yours or someone else's authenticity...or lack of it? I'd love to hear it.
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About John

Throughout a career spanning over 45 years my management style has been one of building teams to bring several competent people together to focus on a common objective. I noted early in my career that, in most organizations, there is an enormous amount of time, energy, and effort wasted by people working at cross purposes.

As I transition to life in the Argentine outback, my focus shifts from coaching to helping other business coaches and advisers get their message out to their prospective clients. With my first-hand knowledge of the benefits of effective business coaching, I am uniquely qualified to help business advisers of all stripes convey their message.

Contact Info
John B. Stevens, Freelance Copywriter

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