April 17, 2006
Jack Covert Selects: A Question from the Questions of Character Podcast
I just posted my interview with Joe Badaracco. I really like his new book Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership Through Literature. The audio interview lasts almost 38 minutes and during it I asked him how he came up with the Questions for his book. Here is what Joe said:
These are questions...that occur in each one [of the stories] and also have strong parallels for businesspeople.
If you take the question that I write about with Death of A Salesman -- "Do I Have A Good Dream?", that's a way of asking what the basic hopes and aspirations of a person or literature of a character really are. And that is a question you can ask of almost any book and almost any person. I had a very clear sense of the question of what somebody really cares about and is hoping to build for themselves and their families in the longer run has to be a fundamental question to address in a book like this and it is a very central part of character.
So is a question of what is a moral code and what's a good moral code. This is another sort of universal question that you could take to The Odyssey or you could take it to a John Grisham story. It gets to sort of a fundamental feature of human personality and something we really care about in our leaders, what their moral codes are.
So, that was sort of the ultimate test--whether the question seemed to resonate through a number of books and more importantly whether it seemed to resonate with the kinds of things we want to know about leaders.
You listen to the whole Badaracco interview and/or read the Jack Covert Selects.