08.12.2020 Sharon Spano, Ph.D.

Unpacking True Leadership with Timothy T. Lupfer, Author, Speaker, and Consultant

Tim Lupfer has been a leader in both business and the military. His concern that we, as a society, are confusing leadership with mere influence has led him to write his new book, Leadership Tough Love. His mission is to get us to focus on the realities of leadership, with a few twists: not everyone wants to be, or should be, a leader; charisma is dangerous; and leadership is rarely scalable.

Tim's dark secret is that he grew up in New Jersey. Once you get around the New Jersey jokes, his life is pretty interesting. He entered West Point at the age of 17 in 1968, and four years later he graduated first in his class. He entered an army whose culture had been severely damaged by the tumult of the recently ended Vietnam War. He served in various combat-ready units in the US and Germany, and he attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, where he studied history. He also served as an Assistant Professor at West Point, where he taught military history. In 1990 and 1991 he commanded a reinforced tank battalion (over 700 soldiers and 58 M1A1 Abrams tanks) in combat in Desert Storm.

After retiring from the army in 1992, he entered business. He served as an executive at R.H. Macy and Company while the company emerged from bankruptcy, and then became a management consultant, starting his consulting career with McKinsey. During his 16-year consulting career, Tim worked with several companies and organizations in organizational change, leadership, and ethics/compliance, to include the City of New York, several financial institutions, companies in various industries, global not-for-profits, and federal agencies.

After the Enron crisis, Tim focused on ethics and compliance, leading that effort for Deloitte Consulting in the US. He helped numerous companies from a wide variety of industries in establishing ethics and compliance programs and in developing codes of conduct. He has given numerous presentations on ethics and compliance throughout his consulting career. He retired as a Managing Director in Deloitte Consulting in 2011.

Tim now spends his time writing and speaking. He recently published a book on leadership entitled Leadership Tough Love. He enjoys traveling with his wife (and high school sweetheart) of over 45 years and trying to keep up with their seven grandchildren.

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Tim's journey into his work in leadership, in school, the army and the business world.
  • Confusing influence with leadership — what does leadership really mean?
  • Looking at some examples of leaders and weighing their greatness; the three key elements.
  • The impact of social media on our values and assessment of character and Tim's idea of 'digital delusions'.
  • A better understanding of charisma and how we confuse this character trait.
  • The relationship between fear and influence; the scary example we can take from Nazi Germany.
  • Domination and intimidation within positions of power and the fear of disappointment. 
  • Identifying true leadership — what we should be looking for.
  • Self-organizing initiatives in the corporate world and the importance of humility.
  • Virtual workspaces and the future of organizations — how this impacts decision-making.
  • The necessary hierarchy of organizations and the great biblical example of this.
  • Tim's work going forward — speaking on leadership and inspiring the next generation!
  • Getting into contact with Tim and some information on his new book, Leadership Tough Love.

 

Tweetables:

“There are a lot of specialists out there in various organizations and they're great contributors, but many of them don't want to have anything to do with dealing with other people. To be quite honest, that's okay, as long as organizations understand the difference.” — @TimTheOrgGuy [0:05:48]

“Always maintain your autonomy, always retain some independence and skepticism. We have to make our leaders work for their effect, which is trying to affect us by both authority and influence to achieve the organizational goals.” — @TimTheOrgGuy [0:19:29]

 

Facebook Posts:

“One of the problems I see in American business is there's too much ambiguity sometimes about authority.” — Timothy Lupfer [0:31:36]

“We should make sure that we have people who are able and good. In other words, character and the two elements of confidence giving direction and showing capabilities in the role.” — Timothy Lupfer [0:47:41]

 

Additional Resources:

 

Facebook / LinkedIn:

Tim Lupfer has been a leader in both business and the military. His concern that we, as a society, are confusing leadership with mere influence has led him to write his new book, Leadership Tough Love. His mission is to get us to focus on the realities of leadership, with a few twists: not everyone wants to be, or should be, a leader; charisma is dangerous; and leadership is rarely scaleable.

 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothy-t-lupfer

Published by Sharon Spano, Ph.D. August 12, 2020