Winning Without Losing Your Way: Character-Centered Leadership

Winning Without Losing Your Way: Character-Centered Leadership

by Rebecca Barnett

Paperback(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781932203165
Publisher: Sundog, Limited
Publication date: 02/21/2003
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 202
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter Three Excerpt

Winning The Balance Tug of War

When the cost is too high

From the time I was 13, I had a clear vision of my future: riding on a plane, wearing a navy blue suit, briefcase tucked at my feet. I would travel somewhere far away from the fields of corn of my childhood.

Many women of my generation shared that dream and made it a reality. But at what price? My friend called to tell me of her new job, a top spot at a Fortune 100 company. But her voice was sad - as she started her new job, her marriage had ended. She and her husband had moved four times in four years to accelerate their careers. Four years of rapid relocations, long hours and being a trailing spouse had put too great a strain on their young marriage.

Time Magazine's April 15, 2002 cover story, "Making time for a baby," told of women who had worked too hard, traveled too much and waited too long. Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett's national survey of 1,647 high achieving women in corporate America found that 42% were still childless after age 40. 49% of women who earned over $100,000 were childless. Recent Census data showed that childlessness has doubled in the past 20 years - 1 in 5 women between ages 40 and 44 is childless.

Putting aside all of the arguments about an anti-feminist agenda, and questions about priorities and policies, the biological clock doesn't lie. Despite the miracle baby headlines, a 42 year-old woman's chance of having a baby using her own eggs is less than 10%. For these women, time had run out, making childlessness a "creeping non-choice."

Thousands of career women try for years to have a baby and grieve in private. Too late, they realize the cost is more than they had calculated, but we cannot turn back the clock, we cannot get that time back.

Women are not the only ones who have paid too high a price.

My interviews found men who told cautionary tales of families lost through divorce, of devoting their entire life to building a company, to having a life without meaning after they were downsized. Men who could barely bring themselves to speak of years lost from their children's lives. Bob's story is shared by several.

"I broke my finger reaching for the brass ring," says Bob Vines. His story starts with a love affair with a company. He continues, "It was hard not to fall in love with IBM. One of IBM's three fundamental principles was respect for the individual. They practiced that principle in every company action. Employees were trusted implicitly. And, most importantly, employment was guaranteed as long as you did your job. The company had never laid off an employee in its entire history."

With this special treatment of employees, however, came some "special" expectations. On Bob's second Monday on the job, as he sat down at his desk, a peer looked over and said, "We missed you on Saturday."

Bob thought, "Am I expected to work on Saturdays?" At any of his other jobs he would have expected overtime pay or at least compensatory time for working weekends. The next Saturday, Bob worked. In fact, he almost always worked Saturdays. He didn't mind because the job was so much fun, and the people were great. Bob loved IBM. And IBM surely loved him back-by his third year with the company, Bob had reached the third level of management. Hundreds of people reported to him.

Not long ago, Bob was down in his basement cleaning up and rearranging boxes. When he picked up a box, a photograph popped out and dropped onto the floor. A little girl of five or six, missing many of her baby teeth, smiled up at him. Bob held the picture up to his wife and asked, "Who is this?"

"What do you mean?" she answered. He repeated, "Who is this?" She replied, incredulously, "You mean, you don't recognize your own daughter?" Bob didn't say anything else. His wife went back upstairs but he stood looking at the photo, trying to remember. When his daughter was six years old, that was probably the year that IBM first introduced the Pro printer, or maybe it was the second Pro printer, or maybe the third. That was a busy time! Bob didn't take any vacation that year. He could even remember working Christmas Day. Bob's picture was on the cover of a couple of magazines that year.

When Bob thought about it, he realized that was actually a typical year. It was one of the years when he was reaching for every brass ring on the merry-go-round. Somewhere along the line, he stopped reaching. Of course, by then his daughter was already in college.

Sometimes people ask him if he was able to regain the time, to rebuild the lost relationship with his daughter. "The answer is no," he says. "It's like asking how well you made a first impression the second time. You only get one chance. If you blow it, it's gone."

Bob still has copies of the magazines with his picture on them. Someday, he will show them to his daughter. But he wishes he had a picture of himself in a baseball cap with his hand on the shoulder of a little girl missing her baby teeth instead.

Most of us, most of the time, enjoy our work. It gives us challenge and structure. Our work strengthens our identity and gives us a reason to get up in the morning. We work hard for our families. It's true that our family shares in our success. But if we are not careful, they also pay the price.

Providing for our families without losing them in the process

"Balance is the biggest challenge for someone in a major leadership role. It is a struggle to spend time with the family for evening meals and vacations."
Wendell Strode

In the corporate world, balance challenges are compounded with today's leaner staffs and longer hours. Work can become a never-ending, never-satisfied addiction, demanding all our time and energy. Technology and the virtual office can make it nearly impossible to turn off. Laptops, the internet and cell phones allow you to work anywhere, any hour of the day so we find ourselves working everywhere, all hours of the day. We even work on vacation, calling into the office for critical messages, checking email from internet cafes in Europe. Technology has tethered us to the office. "Work can be like a drug - it takes discipline to shut it off. With cell phones, emails, and faxes I could work 24 hours per day," says Jim Carrick.

In the quiet hours after everyone else has left the office, the temptation is strong to stay a little longer. We call home and say, "I'll leave the office in 15 minutes," then stay just a bit longer, just long enough to make a few more phone calls, to clear out email or empty an inbox. Before we know it, staying late becomes common place. Missed dinners with our family are replaced by wolfing down leftovers at the kitchen counter. We collapse into our favorite easy chair, drained from the day's work, too tired for conversation, wanting no more than to vegetate in front of the television.

We race through our weekends, packed full of home projects, grocery shopping and carpooling the kids. We wear our busyness like a badge of honor. With all this busyness we allow friendships to drift away, unable to commit the time and emotional energy to sustain them. This busyness doesn't necessarily create a fuller life. Our non-stop activity and over-commitment fray the bonds holding together our marriages and families.

Putting balance on a back burner

On those rare moments of reflection, we question the value of our over-committed schedule, "Has this become my life? Work, eat, sleep, is this really all there is?" Reflection often brings unpleasant realities and the nagging thought that we have been racing toward the wrong goal.

Yet, it is difficult to keep any perspective when so much of our life and social network is wrapped up in work. Frequent relocations isolate us from community and extended family support. When all of our friends are from the office, the company becomes our second family.

Confronting the problems of our personal lives is unpleasant. It is far easier to work compulsively. We can become addicted to work when it is such a large part of our identity and such a powerful source of positive strokes.

For some, it takes a lay-off to provide a quiet time to think things through, to take a fresh look at life away from the influence of corporate thinking. Down time can also come through a leave of absence or a break between jobs, giving us a chance to catch our breath and gain a new perspective.

Because pausing to re-evaluate our priorities and direction in life can be discomforting we prefer to put the future on a back burner. We think, "I will live in balance when things slow down a little at work, when my staff is not so lean, when I complete this big project or reach the next level." We weigh the short-term sacrifice, sure that we can live in balance later.

We climb the ladder to a level of success, catch our breath and look around. "Okay, life," we say, "I'm ready to balance." Only to find that years of too much travel, too many exhausting work weeks, and too many years without a vacation have taken their toll. "It's sad that as I turned 50 I achieved greater balance in my life but now the kids are gone. They turned out just like me in the maniacal pursuit of work," says Jim McCallie.

Regaining our balance

By living your life in balance, you not only positively affect your family and community but all the people who will work for you over a 40 year career. It is critical to recognize that balance is more than multi-tasking, more than cleverly cramming more into each day. Most of us are already overworked and overwhelmed by multiple roles and responsibilities. Balance is more than compartmentalizing our roles as professionals, parents and spouses.

For each of us, balance is a personal matter, driven by our values and goals. Our definition of balance changes over time with different stages of our lives. When our children are small, it is most important to give them a solid grounding. Empty nesters, on the other hand, can commit fully to their profession. We wobble out of balance when we live our lives in opposition to our goals and values.

Balance begins by taking an inventory of your life. As we reach mid-life, we learn that we have a finite supply of time and energy. It takes pacing and prioritization to last through the long haul. Balance comes from asking the hard questions and honestly evaluating the answers, from forgiving your mistakes and making peace with your past. You can't undo what has been damaged, but you can start fresh, and do better tomorrow.

Table of Contents

A first word to readers

Fore word


ONE: An Argument For Character

TWO: Bridging The Values Generation Gap

THREE: Winning The Balance Tug Of War

FOUR: The Courage Of Character

FIVE: Making The Most Contribution

SIX: The Lost Art Of Loyalty

SEVEN: Living And Leading With Character

EIGHT: Winning Your Way

A Final Word To Readers


Reading Group Guide

Winning does a superb job of bringing to life core values like honor, integrity, and character through personal stories of both ordinary and extraordinary individuals. It is an excellent read for everyone, but especially for those at a crossroads in their life."

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Winning Without Losing Your Way 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Winning Without Losing Your Way by Rebecca Barnett ¿Character-Centered Leadership¿ This book, a fairly easy and quick moving read, focuses on how each of us can lead those we work and live with by behaving in all aspects with dignity, strong moral values, and constancy of vision. This may seem self-evident to some, however, in light of Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, Tyco, and other firms, absolute power clearly corrupts absolutely. The leadership that we provide to co-workers and others in our lives doesn¿t have to be the Marine charging the hill variety. That is to say, there are many moments that aren¿t life and death and yet still provide a test of our character, honesty, trustworthiness, and overall moral compass. It is these small moments in combination that show the world and our corner of it what we are really made of. The point is made, and validly so, that this applies to all of us and isn¿t just for those with the title of manager, VP, President or similar. It shows the effect that each of us can have on another by being positive, conducting our affairs with honesty and values, and doing our best in all that we attempt. We touch many people in our lives, most of whom we don¿t realize we¿ve affected. It is all of these instances that count and call us to have character-centered leadership.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don't read this book if you want to maintain the staus quo. 'Winning' is as much an invitation to grow as it is a consideration of business ethics. Rebecca's highly personal, easy to read work draws the reader into a journey of self discovery. Chock full of compelling stories, it sustains your belief that you can do this hard work, while giving you te tools to rewrite your future. Buckle up. Get ready for a journey worth taking.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Winning' is a book for all leaders -whether you're a leader in business or striving to be a better leader in your personal life. Rebecca's honesty in sharing her own experiences, as well as candidly sharing the stories of others, provide an important reminder of how crucial it is to maintain your principles and values. Learning from the experiences of others has truly helped me to become more in tune with my own character and in focusing on gaining more balance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like this book because Rebecca Barnett has written more than stories and general ideas. She has added organized information from research as well as responses from interviews. She has done her homework. Further, her own journey has demonstrated a strong work ethic and persistence through tough times often necessary for the development of deeper levels of character.--Dr. David Dyson, Dyson Institute, co-author, Professionalism Under Stress
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca Barnett's book offers key insights into one of the biggest problems at the heart of contemporary business in America today. Moreover, she provides strategies for dealing effectively with this problem at both the individual as well as the organizational level. If you only read one book on business ethics during your lifetime, this is the one you need to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Winning with your integrity in tact is the only way to win and be able to sleep at night too. This is the basic premise of Ms. Barnett¿s book. CEOs, Directors, Trustees, and Managers, are learning the grave consequences of dishonesty. Ms. Barnett¿s experience in business and in judo are woven into this practical handbook of valuable lessons.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Barnett has woven her relevant personal history in with a startling variety of interviews with executives, olympic athletes and more. She presents the challenges and assaults to our character as an ongoing threat - one that can only be met with dedication to a personal code of honor. The hopeful note here is that those with a moral compass are not alone. Throughout the book, Ms. Barnett speaks of interaction with executives and coaches who have helped brace her for the fight. One sees that a person of honor is not alone and we form supportive and interconnecting relationships that fortify us in times of need. I hope Corporate America is listening - you can be successful in business without deciet and deception. There is a cost to a lack of corporate character. It is possible to conduct good, honest and successful business. Ms. Barnett's book presents a way out of the ethical/moral dilemma many businesses find themselves in today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down! What a timely book for all managers and the ethical issues we face today. I especially enjoyed the thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter and will refer back to this book and my notes for many years to come. Lots of examples and interviews separate this book from the others on the market.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca Barnett writes how ethical business leadership is a reflection on the moral charter of our lives and the long-term positive influence it has on our employees and corporations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How does one become a great leader? Sometimes it seems we are all just plugging along and our only purpose is to lead our team in the chase for the almighty dollar. Ms. Barnett's book reminds us that we can leave a legacy that will live on through character-centered leadership. I could not help but be greatly encouraged after reading her book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms Barnett has a very interesting way of using brief anecdotes and quotes to make her points. I especially enjoyed the unique perspective of sport judo as a way to clarify life and business values. Very quick read. Practical exercises, alone, are worth the price of the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca Barnett has challenged our thinking about attitudes and actions in the workplace. Her book describes so many dilemmas that face corporate managers everday. How we keep our focus, sanity and humanity through tough competitive times is very difficult. Barnett reminds us that long term sucess in our personal and professional lifes begins and ends with integrity. It is inspiring to read about her personal tragedys and triumphs in the Judo arena.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Barnett has said what we are all probably thinking amidst today's quagmire of business scandals. 'Winning without Losing your Way' is a timely book and should be a must read for all CEOs and senior managers. Bringing values and focus back on all our character is a very viable and interesting solution for today's business leaders. It is time for a redefinition of many aspects of business leadership and operation and starting at the core with the values and focus of our leaders can only help. We as business leaders have lost our path and its time to bring back balance, integrity, loyalty and courage in how we contribute to the development of our enterprises and our communities. Ms. Barnett has provide us all with an excellent resource that can help us down the right path. Great work!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Winning Without Losing Your Way is a must read for everyone in the business world. Many of us already have good morals in the workplace, but Winning reenforces why we should continue on the high road regardless of the actions of our coworkers and bosses.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Has corporate fraud become the American way? In a time of Enron, WorldCom, HealthSouth, Martha Stewart and ImClone, Ms. Barnett's focus on Character-Centered Leadership is long and overdue. A recent newspaper article implied that because Martha Stewart was indicted for making false statements and obstruction of justice, and not for insider trading itself, that somehow this is a problem. While there is a certain appeal to that train of thought, it fails to take into consideration that the corporate leadership must take responsibility for their actions. Ms. Barnett an accomplished judo competitor and instructor has succeeded in explaining the necessity of applying these disciplines to the corporate America.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca Barnett has a written a book that highlights a missing ingredient in the workplace: virtues! With all the print headlines, her timing couldn't be better. Displaying her own personal integrity, she weaves stories and interviews to help the reader choose what is best for their career decisions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First of all I'd like to say that this book is just a great one. It shows how important it is to have your own opinion and to be yourself. The way R. Barnett describes everything and how she compares the business world with judo is awesome. Rebecca Barnett showed how important it is not to lose your sense of right and wrong, even if it is hard to do. You should stand up for your rights and for the ones you are in charge of!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Barnett's work is a timeless guidebook for those who will have direct responsibility for the lives of others. I'll refer to this one for years to come. This is obviously a labor of love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca Barnett is brave in many ways. She is taking her journey with integrity, building her character, operating by truth telling, and helping future leaders know what they need to do to become good human beings and effective leaders. As a fellow judoka, leader, author, and leadership coach I deeply appreciate her book and the path she is taking (culminating in part with this book). She has taken the time and effort to write this book and share from her heart many personal life experiences and observations that helps build solid citizens who contributes - a fundamental philosophy of judo and great leadership. I especially appreciated her emphasis on balancing family and community involvement in ones life - a very difficult challenge with many costs and lessons. Rebecca builds a strong business case and helps create the foundations for a personal and professional development plans as to what is needed to develop today and become a future leader. She openly shares lessons she encountered both in their thoughts and actions that help her create her own destiny - in other words getting where she wanted when at the same time benefiting others. Her compassion and sincerity emanates throughout this deep yet simple to read book. Thanks Rebecca for sharing yourself and your stories, being brave, and providing us with your insights to help us all grow personally and emerge as leaders.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Make us choose the harder right over the easier wrong' is a line in the West Point Cadet prayer. By using stories and quotes of real people in real situations, Winning, which is a simple, easy read that packs a heart-warming and at times a gut-wrenching wallop, can help us better understand why and how we must choose the harder right over the easier wrong. Rebecca and I share the same passion for Judo and all that the sport teaches our students. Her book Winning is great food for thought and further reinforces my commitment to character development.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca Barnett writes a timely book about honest and integrity in a world that seems to only care about the almighty dollar, but not how its made, or at what expense. I read the book on an airplane ride to a Judo Tournament and could'nt put it down till I finished it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca Barnett has written a timely and relevant book that eloquently and realistically addresses the ehtical problems faced by business and industry today. It should be required reading at every business school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Winning Without Losing Your Way is an insightful book on the importance of Honor and Integrity in leadership. Rebecca Barnett uses many of her life experiences, especially her love of Judo, to make a case for Character Based Leadership. The book is well researched and includes compelling testimonies of those who have lived life without losing their integrity along the way. If you are concerned about the lack of integrity in Corporate America, and want to learn how to live with integrity, this book is worth checking out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca features a tremendous mix of 'Winners' here that will give us all a leg-up on the the new business models we face individually. My 22 year old daughter and I had a conversation this week about one of her teachers that took me back to 'The Courage of Your Convictions' example that Rebecca usues. She diplomatically reminds us that 'we have to stand for something, or we'll fall for anything,'(great Country Music song)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca speaks from the heart and hits you where it counts. Her book shows you how to live a life where you can sleep peacefully at night, knowing you've done the right thing. We need more people to 'start doing the right thing'.