Sunday, February 21, 2010

John Allison on "Leadership and Values"

John A. Allison, then acting CEO and Chairman of BB&T bank (now retired), gives a talk on "Leadership and Values" at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.

Why am I linking to this lecture by John Allison? Very simply, Allison's excellent talk addresses a greatly overlooked theme in American business and life today: establishing one's code of personal ethics.

Now what makes John Allison qualified to deliver such a lecture?

Allison, who we highlighted (and who the NY Times profiled) in our post, "BB&T prefer liberty and reason to bailouts", grew the North Carolina-based BB&T bank by leaps and bounds while it gained plaudits from customers and the business community for its integrity and high rates of customer satisfaction.

While large banks and mortgage lenders across the country sank their customers, themselves, and our overall economy through their overexposure to residential housing and subprime mortgage loans, Allison and BB&T remained focused on ethical capitalism and engaging in "win-win" transactions that benefited the bank as well as its customers.

In his talks on "Leadership and Values", Allison, an admirer of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, discusses the importance of integrity, examining your ethical framework, egalitarianism and moral relativism vs. objective truth, and the road to self- improvement.

We'll let John Allison do the talking now. Check out the video above, or see this more recent clip of a very similar talk at Marshall University with a Q&A session from students and community members. Enjoy the discussion!