ON AN EVENING IN THE SPRING OF 1954, I chaired my first meeting of a nonprofit organization. I was in my early thirties, had been active in the United Way since age twenty-six, and was now beginning my first leadership role. I had just taken over the chairmanship of the small business division of United Way from a lawyer, someone I admired, George Baldwin. Our role was to raise money for the charity from smaller businesses in the Cleveland metro area.
I asked George to come to the first meeting I chaired at the Statler Hotel in Cleveland, in order to critique my chairmanship. After chairing that first session, I felt good. We had a very constructive meeting and what I thought was a great exchange of ideas. My friend ...