A global leader puts his own battle with cancer to one side to offer hope.

I once read that,

“Your job gives you authority, but your behaviour gives you respect.”

Three days ago, Mariott’s President and CEO Arne Sorenson, acted in a way that not only commanded the respect of his colleagues but also the admiration of everyone who watched his 6 minute video.

Authentic leaders, like Sorenson, make sure that they ‘shovel’ their own personal problems to one side — diagnosed in 2019 with stage two pancreatic cancer and still fighting an uphill battle — as they deal with the emergencies affecting the many and especially his very own global business and people (employees, shareholders and customers).

Genuine leaders, like Mariott’s CEO, know who they are and what they stand for. Irrespective of circumstances, they always act with transparency, integrity and extreme humility… and in the process of doing so they establish trust.

True leaders lead by example and thus they are able to say ‘do as I do’ rather than just ‘do as I say’. Sorenson’s example is admirable — simply check minute 3:25 from the above video where he forgoes all his 2020 salary.

In closing, I am compelled to refer to the the words of statesman John Quincy Adams:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”



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