Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » The first school


Time after time after time I read a leadership post or article and always conclude, “It begins in the family.” Why are there so many leadership books out there now? Walk into Barnes and Noble, cruise Amazon, and you will the shelves and links to so many books. Look online at the leadership blogs, leadership schools, refereed journals, CEO to leadership consultants, and you will find there is no shortage.

Why is there an uptick in this market? Well, because people are looking for answers. There seems to be a problem, and there is a solution that others are trying to propose. Much of failed leadership is the result of a vice. Think Enron and you will find greed. But how do you train someone not to be greedy? Well, you must development character and virtue in the person. To even begin to fix the greed issue, first and foremost we need to know the virtue. Temperance is traditionally known to be the virtue that puts greed in its place. But how often have I heard the word “Temperance” in contemporary thought leadership or graduate school discussed. How many classes in the ever increasing Business Ethics courses do you think mention virtue and its value to personal happiness? Even if it is mentioned, will one little class change much? How do you teach a culture that says “If it feels good do it?” or “All that matters is an increase in the profits?” to consider the long term effects of a miserable policy that is doomed to failure. How do you educate a person habituated in consumerist tendency to deny themselves the instant gratification and seek the common good rather the self-interested I.

Can a graduate level course turn the course of 22 years of habit? Can the leadership development consultant create a program that will change a worker’s attitude that has been shaped and molded for so many years? Rather I think these skills or unskills are being learned many years before and the cure for the illness is starting way too late.

Leadership is failing because the family is failing. The family is the first school of faith, hope, and love and it is also the first school of leadership.