Mentors lead by example
Sun Valley Leadership Institute aims to
shape ethical leaders
By MEGAN THOMAS
Express Staff Writer
The first annual Sun Valley Leadership
Institute Symposium sponsored by First Bank of Idaho recently invited leaders
throughout the community and the nation to discuss the values and behaviors that
build sound organizations.
The meeting, titled "The Importance of
Ethical Leadership in Building Successful Organizations," inaugurated the
organizationís efforts. SVLI invited an array of leaders in business, government
and education to speak to the challenges leaders face today and the need to help
infuse integrity and character into these positions.
The new nonprofit organization aims to
develop effective leaders in order "to bring ethical behavior to corporate,
government and other nonprofits," explained Sun Valley Leadership Institute
founder and chairman Bob Mobley.
Mobley, of Sun Valley, is working with the
Instituteís co-founder and president, David Holmes, to develop a culture of
clear values within local and national organizations.
Holmes expanded on the Instituteís
mission: "Good intentions are not enough. We need effective and responsible
leaders in all organizations."
The organization hopes to capitalize on
the leadership resources within the valley, in order to better leadership
efforts locally and nationally.
"We are blessed with a reservoir of
leaders in Sun Valley," Holmes said.
Given the depth of leadership in the
community, the group intends to begin their efforts in the valley. "Our goal is
to start with the community and work outwards," Mobley explained.
One such potential direction for SVLI
emerged during the questions and answer session. Blaine County Commissioner
Sarah Michael remarked, "Iíve always thought if we had a resource base of
executives in the valley, it would be tremendously helpful. There is no reason
we could not be the best model of public service."
Mobley responded, "We are all partners in
this. We are in a position to make this a better community."
The Institute is founded on the premise
that healthy high level leadership begins in young people.
"All students have the potential to be
leaders," said Holmes, a former headmaster of Connecticutís Suffield Academy.
Holmes developed a model for leadership in
education. He introduced the first four-year leadership curriculum to his
students at Suffield Academy.
"At the core, American youth have the
passion to succeed," Holmes added.
One of the components of the
organizationís mission statement is that success comes from instilling the
fundamentals of moral leadership in young people. The group also believes all
institutions, from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit organizations, need to
integrate ethical standards into daily corporate life.
Standards begin with model behavior at the
"When a CEO picks up a shovel, he instills
commitment and confidence in his workers," explained Vernon Loucks Jr., retired
chairman and CEO of Baxter International, who spoke at the symposium.
In contrast to the exemplary CEO, Loucks
said, "The perception today is that leaders today are guilty until proven
He concluded that in order to change
perceptions, and the direction of business "we need to promote talent founded in
character and good values."
Others also offered their perspectives on
the ingredients for healthy leadership.
"Women can make an incredible contribution
to the top tier if they are included," emphasized Mary Murphree, an expert on
Murphree is the eastern regional
administrator of the womenís bureau for the U.S. Department of Labor.
She spoke as a private citizen on the need
to promote women in leadership roles. She cited the in roads women are making as
managers, but also pointed to the gender gap in leadership at the corporate
level. According to Murphree, women hold only 8 percent of the CEO positions of
Fortune 500 companies.
Murphree detailed barriers of entry women
face at work, from issues in recruitment to mentoring. She emphasized the issues
are all solvable and summarized that society needs to capitalize and cultivate
Speaking to the challenges and all that
lies ahead, Mobley concluded, "this is the beginning of the journey."
The journey will incorporate the talent of
valley leaders, with coaching and mentor techniques. The Sun Valley Leadership
Institute will tailor to its clientsí needs at on-site and Sun Valley-based