The World’s Happiest Leader: A Personal Tribute to Tom Beebe


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“Imagine that the key to happiness is following your own intuition instead of other people’s opinions and advice.” Alex Ostrowski

Great leaders never stop following their intuition. They maintain a child-like faith in their insights. The rest of us mostly flit from one opinion du jour or breathless bit of “wisdom” to the next, like butterflies fading in the grass.

The greatest leaders create a culture in which employees or followers have faith in their own intuition. Because happiness happens, too.

As a child I was very fortunate to have a Sunday School teacher named Tom Beebe, and will always remember climbing happily onto his lap for a story. At the time he was VP of Personnel at Delta Airlines; he was eventually its President, and Delta became famous as a truly great company to work at (featured on page 253 of In Search of Excellence).

Mr. Beebe built “The Delta Family Feeling” on his amazing intuition about what people need and respond to. He was too smart to leave the fate of his company to impulsive or copycat decisions. For example, every stewardess was chosen from thousands of applicants, interviewed twice and screened by the company psychologist.

But all the procedures didn’t blanket his intuition, they validated it. Every employee gained a new confidence in the intuition that Delta recognized and celebrated. That confidence stayed front and center on the job, and every customer felt special to be served.

Delta made its employees so happy to work there, they once chipped in to buy their company a new airplane.

Today it’s much easier for great leaders to recreate at least part of that excitement. Like Tom Beebe, you’ll acknowledge your intuition and instill it in your employees or team members. All in a matter of hours. With the right tool and a world full of self-educated people, anyone can become a great leader like Tom Beebe.

Other people’s opinions and advice are fine, as far as they go. Just don’t confuse them with what brings real happiness. Use your intuition.

Carey Giudici
Betterwords for Business
Carey has a unique, high-energy approach to help small business owners, entrepreneurs and in-transition professionals make their Brand and content achieve superior results in the social media. He calls it "Ka-Ching Coaching" because the bottom line is always . . . your bottom line. He has developed marketing and training material for a Fortune 5 international corporation, a large public utility, the Embassy of Japan, the University of Washington, and many small businesses and entrepreneurs.


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