Lead Like Fauci

Modeling the TCR Leadership we need

Every time I hear Dr. Anthony Fauci speak, I am reminded of three qualities of leadership my late mentor, Warren Bennis, and I used to discuss frequently.

Warren Bennis and Mark Goulston

The best leaders at all times engender Trust, Confidence and Respect:

Let’s dig a little deeper:


We trust leaders when we observe them to be consistently honest, transparent, non-hurtful, non-opportunistic, earnest, do what they say they’ll do and wise. The last component is especially important because wisdom is knowing what is important and what isn’t, what is urgent and what can wait and what matters in both the short term and the long term. In essence, wise people are able to have perspective at nearly all times.


We have confidence in leaders when they have a track record of sound judgment, effective decision making and the ability to get things done or in the case of Dr. Fauci to make recommendations that lead to action.


We respect leaders who stand up for what’s right and speak truth to power and in crises speak truth to panic in a calm way. They have deeply held values that serve others and a code of conduct that is consistent with those values.

If you’re in a leadership position, take the opportunity to observe Dr. Fauci whenever he speaks. Also take this as an opportunity to ask your most trusted advisors, confidants and if you have one, executive coach, to see if they agree with these three key components of great leadership.

Then take a deep swallow and ask those people to be candid with you how you measure up in causing your people to feel Trust, Confidence in and Respect for you. Tell them you want them to be candid and then elicit from them what you can do to improve and increase those feelings for you from your people and the surrounding world.

If you think this is a bunch of woo woo crap imagine what your effectiveness as a leader would be if instead of causing people to feel trust, confidence and respect with regard to you, they instead feel distrust, doubt and disrespect (or even worse, embarrassment).

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