Every reader has probably heard the saying attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. His character determines the character of the organization.” (Were Emerson living today, he’d obviously be more politically correct and say “the shadow of a single man or woman,” but other than that, nothing has changed.)

Importance of Role Models

Why does that happen? We believe the frontline associates in every firm take many overt and countless more subtle cues from the people at the top of the organization. They follow their words, but even more, they follow their example. Soon the organization takes on ...

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