From Front Line to Bottom Line to Out

The key to the Character Triangle is to help provide a guide post for our actions.    We are very human and make stupid mistakes. But the Hewlett Packard Board’s removal of Mark Hurd, former CEO of HP, may be the character story of the year. Having a former pornography star for customer meetings, sexual harassment, expense account issues and more….holy cow. Perhaps the NYT article added more dimension regarding the way Mr. Hurd apparently disrespected fellow employees. Whatever, the fall from the pedestal, ala Tiger Woods, is a long, long, long way down.

Mr Hurd’s own quote: “This is a painful decision for me to make after five years at H.P., but I believe it would be difficult for me to continue as an effective leader at H.P. and I believe this is the only decision the board and I could make at this time.  As the investigation progressed, I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at H.P.”

Mr. Hurd has millions of dollars to help salve his character wounds but I wonder how much of it he would give up to regain his reputation, whatever the facts.

I never want to use the Character Triangle (CT) as a self righteous evaluation and hammer to bludgeon others. Only Mark Hurd and the Board likely know the facts. And I trust and hope Hurd is in a state of deep self reflection. The CT is however, all about a constant framework and reminder regarding how you and I think and act. But watching and learning from others is important. And the song Amazing Grace often may be an appropriate tune to quietly hum.

And for most of us, well, we need a continual self reminder of how to make living with character a habit. It is a slippery and fast slope downward when we lose our way; and we all are vulnerable.

Whether high profile cases or our own minor daily skirmishes, a habit system of CT helps shine a light.  We all need to use that beacon in the choice we make and the actions we take.

I’m going to continue to be self accountable, respectful, and abundant,

with Character,


  1. Tim Ames says:


    I know from experience that we ALL get little warnings from ourselves and from others when the things we are doing are not right. It’s called the little ( Or Booming) voice in our own heads. Sometimes we listen to it and change and sometimes we need to be reminded, removed, replaced. That should follow with, remorse,reflection, rebuilding and finally a stronger more thoughtful and balanced you. Sounds like I have been there, well yes…. I think in some ways we all have, I know for sure that while I am not in the same league as Tiger or Mark I can use their stories to remember to be humble, aware, and remember that when people look up to you gauging their reactions to what you do is very important. Start with the little voice, if you can change your actions and behaviours on your own you can save yourself, family, company and all the people that you touch the pain and embarrassment of a very public removal.

    Thanks Lorne for your continued commitment to blogging excellent information.

    With respect


    • Lorne says:

      Tim…I have yet to meet anyone on the journey that hasn’t had the speed bump experience big time…..only the great ones take the hard look and learn. I agree with you regarding the ” little voice” ….I wish I would have taken more counsel from the little voice more often. Thanks for reading and your thoughtful comments. You make the blog better.

Leave a Comment