Bill George: Why should we be optimistic about our future?

On Friday, November 18, the Good Leadership team hosted the 100th episode of the Good Leadership Breakfast Series. The point of the day was to collect answers to the question: Why should we be optimistic about our future?

More than 330 guests participated and collectively raised more than $22,000 for charity. A special one-time past speaker fund raised a significant contribution to the Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities. That charity was chosen because of their commitment to feed kids breakfast, improve literacy and mentor young leaders – all values held closely by the Good Leadership Breakfast guests over 13 years of programming.

The centerpiece of the day was a long-format interview of Bill George. He’s a Twin Cities business celebrity whose leadership includes Honeywell, the CEO of Medtronic, and bestselling author of several books on authenticity in leadership. And at 80 years of age, he’s still researching and teaching on the business school faculty at Harvard.

“It’s about the young people, Paul,” he said emphatically. “What I see today are young leaders who are authentic leaders – I wrote about that in my books. What I see is a whole new generation of young leaders who lead with their ‘true north.’ That’s what we see at Harvard now. They see that it’s not about themselves…it’s not about wealth accumulation…it’s all about the team. And creating teams of teams, and leaders of leaders.”

He shared the most important reason for us to be optimistic about our future: “We’re going through a massive change in generational leadership. It’s a shift from command and control to a more authentic leadership style that focuses on creating the success of the people around you first. It’s goodness in action. The young leaders today think about empowerment, and not controlling people. And that’s goodness.”

Finally: “I’m very excited about the young leaders today. I think we should be optimistic about our future because we are raising a generation of leaders who know how to do good. And it just feels good to do good.”

Guests received a copy of Bill’s most recent book: True North, Emerging Leader edition.

The 101st Good Leadership Breakfast kicks off on March 24, 2023, featuring Michele Havens, of Northern Trust. You can purchase season tickets here.

A special thank you to all the past speakers, breakfast attendees, and the Good Leadership team for 100 thoughtful and inspiring breakfasts.


Paul Batz

Paul Batz is CEO and Founder of Good Leadership Enterprises. He is an inspirational leadership coach, best selling author and professional speaker. His Good Leadership blog is recognized as one of the top leadership posts in America today.