3 Leadership Lessons From Ted Kennedy

Whether or not you agree with Ted Kennedy’s political views, there’s a lot to learn from his leadership approach. To get a sense of Kennedy’s style, look at what a couple of his key political adversaries had to say about him:

John McCain: We disagreed on most issues, but I admired his passion for his convictions … and his uncanny sense for when differences could be bridged and his cause advanced by degrees.

Orin Hatch: I hadn’t the slightest idea that I would eventually have a strong working relationship with, and love for, the man that I came to fight. 

My take: Here are 3 leadership lessons that we can learn from Kennedy:

  1. Passion is powerful and contagious.
  2. You can disagree on issues without making it personal.
  3. Progress often requires compromise

The bottom line: Long live Kennedy’s leadership legacy.

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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