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Leadership, entrepreneurship, and hope for our nation’s economy in the face of a credit card crisis

In an earlier post, I discussed what leadership is, and is not. 

I found it ironic that while Chase Card Services CEO Gordon Smith was delivering a lecture on leadership at the Thunderbird School, the rest of Chase’s employees were busy stuffing change in terms notices in envelopes, and mailing them to account holders (who were mislead by a deceptive promotion that promised a “fixed APR until the balance is paid in full“). 

About the only way I’d want to ever see Mr. Smith addressing my students, would be if he were to come to my university and deliver a formal apology.  Living up to promotional claims, now that is leadership, Mr. Smith.  Accounting for taxpayers’ bail out money, is leadership, Mr. Smith.   Apologizing to Congress on behalf of Chase Card Services for previously delivering disingenuous testimony (stating that Chase treated customers “fairly” by providing “opt outs”) is leadership, Mr. Smith.  Making a profit through the ethical delivery of products and services, and competing by “doing the right thing” to build an enduring, positive brand image, is leadership, Mr. Smith.  Practicing what you preach, is leadership, Mr. Smith. 

As it relates to leadership, I am very proud of the current Master of Entrepreneurship Degree Program students I presently teach.  They are destined to become future entrepreneurs, and they already grasp what “Entrepreneurial Leadership” is (and what it is not).  These are individuals who I believe are this nation’s best hope for normalcy, followed hopefully, by prosperity (as we continue to languish in a time of tremendous economic adversity). 

The present Cohort (a group that progresses through a series of courses together, building social capital, along with increasing skills, knowledge, and abilities along the way — including an appreciation for ethics), has recently worked to gather to produce a podcast CD.  The CD has been/will be distributed in both physical and electronic formats (you may also freely share this; download the jpg image below, and link it to the file on a site, if you have one, or simply forward the link to the file without the image).  For those who may be interested, click on the image below to access the electronic version:

WCU ME Program Entrepreneurial Leadership Podcast, December 2008

Do keep in mind that small businesses, especially entrepreneurial bootstrappers, have often relied on credit cards as a source of capital.  I’ve posted a little remark like this one on other sites, and in some cases received responses that could be best characterized as personal attacks about why I shouldn’t be a teacher (as though I were telling students to use credit cards, but that’s not what I said; I said: small businesses do use credit cards, not that I advised them — or students — to do so).  Now that you are on my site, please read my papers and look at my own testimony before jumping to any conclusions.  It would not take more than two or three clicks to understand that I loathe credit card companies’ abusive treatment of account holders who may use business or personal credit cards, or both.