A strategy for success based on the good side of life

dlauderdale@islandpacket.comJanuary 10, 2012 

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This may come as a shock, but to win big in corporate America, it pays to not be selfish and greedy.

In the long run, it's more profitable to be an ethical and caring person.

So says a book being released today by Fred A. Manske Jr. of Hilton Head Island called "Core Strategy for Success: How to Lead the Pack in a 'Dog-Eat-Dog' World."

Manske is a low-key man who made it to the top. He seems to be the anti-Donald Trump.

The book is not about Manske, now 72 and retired. But he worked at Eastern Air Lines, advancing to oversee operations of 85 flights daily in Newark, N.J., and serving as personal assistant to president Frank Borman, commander of the first astronauts to fly around the moon.

Manske was senior vice president for ground operations and sales nationwide for Federal Express, working with business legend and FedEx founder Fred Smith. In that period, annual revenue increased from $412 million to $3.2 billion. He then headed FedEx's international operations before becoming president and CEO of Purolator Courier, leading a turnaround of Canada's largest distribution company.

Today, his target audience is young people.

"They're nervous about getting jobs," Manske said. "They're nervous about being successful. They haven't yet been tainted by bad bosses. I want them to know that they can choose to be ethical and succeed."

Ethics guided by money is a short-term strategy that will flame out, Manske said.

His book outlines a long-term strategy he calls ECL, which stands for ethics, caring for others and lifelong learning. Each strategy is broken into dozens of specifics on how to do it.

For example, to be the best you can be, spend 90 minutes of personal time every day reading and studying above and beyond work requirements. That's quite a commitment. Few will do it.

He writes that ways for leaders to care for others include listening attentively, keeping promises, recognizing good work, emphasizing personal growth and development, and subordinating self-interest to that of the organization and employees.

He says ethical decisions are never happenstance. Use these "Ethics Guideline Questions": Is it legal? Does it harm anyone? Is it fair? How would I like to be treated in a similar situation? Does my behavior reflect how I would like to be remembered? Will I respect myself for what I did?

"It all leads back to one word: "Trust," Manske said. "If people don't trust you in a business setting, you are not going to make it."

He doesn't seek a profit from his new book, or an earlier one, "Secrets of Effective Leadership: A Practical Guide to Success." Both are available at amazon.com. Manske said all revenue goes into his website, www.leadershipdevelopment.com. It's one way he and his wife, Donna, an executive coach, seek to preserve the breed of effective, ethical leaders.

Follow columnist David Lauderdale at twitter.com/ThatsLauderdale.

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