How Employee Abuse Sparked a Leadership Philosophy

by | Nov 6, 2019 | Podcast

Ron Rael of The High Road Institute®

Ron Rael is irreverent, sometime satirical, and always insightful and provocative.

Through his company, the High Road® Institute, Ron develops leaders worth following.

Ron began speaking professionally in 1992 and is still going strong. He is the author of 19 books on how to become a high-quality leader.

Ron’s immense wisdom about leadership comes from the 14,000 leaders he has worked with and coached. His deep pool of knowledge also derives from his research and introspection while seeking an answer to this question: “What is true leadership, in the real world?

He continues to share this accumulated wisdom in blogs, a weekly email subscription, videos, and leadership presentations.

Ron offers another tool to improve the quality of leadership in the world: a podcast titled “The High Road® Leader.” It is leader-to-leader, peer conversations with unsung heroes who make a difference every day. In this podcast you will take away at least three action items that will make you a better leader. You will be provoked into taking action as only Ron can do it!

The podcast launched in August of 2019.

On a personal note, Ron is a funny grandpa, a student of pickleball, and a great storyteller.


How Employee Abuse Sparked a Leadership Philosophy

What Does “Leading from the High Road® Mean?

The Leader who takes the High Road® is concerned about the greater good in all their actions and decisions. 

There are numerous leadership philosophies. Servant Leadership. Enlightened Leader. Authentic Leadership. Ethical Leadership. Primal Leadership. Transformational Leadership. Extreme Leadership. Value-based leadership, to name a few.

When I began speaking about leadership in the late 80s, I was only repeating what I had learned from books. But… that felt very unsatisfying. I wanted to know what leadership was to me. As you will discover, later in this podcast, I had a driving force compelling me to find an answer to: “What is true leadership?” The great books I read did not jibe with what I was experiencing about those who lead, in the real world.

I took a journey within to uncover the answer. I adopted a tool from someone I admire, Oprah Winfrey. A segment of her show was, “What I know for sure.” I journaled for hours on what I knew for sure, about leadership. Soon, I developed my Leadership Credo. But the style of Leadership I practiced and admired did not have a name or label.

A friend and speaking colleague suggested “the High Road.” He said, “Based on what I know about you Ron, you have always taken the High Road.”

With his advice ringing in my ear, I journaled more on what that phrase meant for me. I soon saw clear connections between my Credo and the often-used phrase, “Take the High Road.”

In season 1, six diverse leaders’ answered my question: “What the High Road means to you?” You could tell that they understood the concept. And… I know from my experiences with them, that they all practice leading from the high road.

All this introspection turned into my philosophy. Since I believe simple is better, I boiled it down to its essence. When I honor you with the label, “High Road® Leader,” it shows that you live this philosophy too.

The Leader who takes the High Road® is concerned about the greater good in all their actions and decisions. 

In order to teach this concept to others, I added the character traits of leading that will help you lead from the High Road. I call them…

The Non-Negotiable Aspects of High Road® Leadership© 

  1. Integrity – Your ultimate objective of leading
  2. Credibility – The outcome of having integrity and a trait of your character 
  3. Honesty – Trait of your character 
  4. Communication – Trait of your character 
  5. Trustworthiness – Trait of your character 
  6. Commitments to Ethical standards and to Accountable behaviors – Traits of your character 
  7. Compassion – Trait of your character 
  8. Courage – Trait of your character 

In this podcast, I will always encourage you to “take the High Road.” That is a difficult directive, I realize.

You are human and you will find yourself on the exit ramp. At times, you will be lured to take the low road©. That is okay! Because, if you do your best to focus on the greater good – outcomes that benefit the many vs. the few – then you are traveling the high road.

The High Road is the path less traveled. It is the hard path. It’s not sexy nor is it rewarding. You could be chastised, ridiculed, and even fired for taking the High Road. In the world you and I exist in, people who take the low road get book deals and made movies made about them. They get in the news or their own reality show. They have millions of followers on social media. They are often rewarded with fame and fortune.

If this trend bothers you, then you believe in the High Road.

Do you want to go to bed each day, knowing that you did your best to help the greater good?

Insights from Season 1 and the 6 High Road® CEO’s Featured

I interviewed women who are CEO’s and Big L Leaders.

They are all focused on the team.

They give their full commitment to their role and the people they serve.

They are ‘in business’ to help others succeed; achieve a greater good or purpose.

Each did not start out with a plan to lead but embraced the opportunity.

They utilize their wealth of talents.

Each one works diligently to create more leaders, because of the Natural Law of Leadership #10:

  • A good leader creates more good leaders.


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