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The Peninsula

A Farewell Message from KEI President Jack Pritchard

Published June 28, 2012
Category: Current Events

By Jack Pritchard

As I depart KEI after 6 ½ years as president, I want to acknowledge the great support and contributions my colleagues have made in enhancing the credibility and reputation of our small institute.  As president I am often praised for the innovative work that KEI does and, while I appreciate the compliment, the real tribute goes to my colleagues who did the actual work.  During my tenure, I have been privileged to work with some great individuals.  A year ago when several members of KEI’s staff left at the same time to go on to bigger and better things (running their own organizations, going to law school, joining the Foreign Service, etc.), some worried about a new, relatively young staff.  But as I always tell people, the current KEI staff is comprised of equally talented individuals who have coalesced into the single finest team I have ever been associated with.

Listening to Colin Powell talk about his new book, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, I am reminded that he has a list of leadership principles that he keeps on his desk. There are 18 of them and some require explanation. It got me thinking about the core principles of leadership that have guided me throughout my career and particularly during the past several years at KEI.  They are:

Pritchard’s 13 Principles of Leadership

  • Listen;
  • Articulate your vision;
  • Commit to the personal and professional development of all subordinates;
  • Loyalty is a two-way proposition: you can’t expect it if you don’t show it;
  • Value character above skill; you can teach skill, you cannot teach character;
  • Emphasize and encourage Team Work: the organization is not better served by the best qualified people who do not work well together;
  • Push creativity over business as usual;
  • Give responsibility, but require accountability;
  • Publicly praise good performance; downplay reflected praise;
  • Encourage use of an Open Door policy: turn full attention to any subordinate when they come in – announced or unannounced – if at all possible.  They are your number one priority at that moment;
  • Lead by example:  take physical ownership of office facilities – water the plants, clean the carpet, arrange the furniture.  Knowing your attention to detail inspires ownership in others;
  • Be on time to meetings: respect others’ time;
  • Seek to rehabilitate sub-standard performers in a positive way before seeking remedies with negative consequences.

The point of sharing my philosophy is to say, that while I am enormously proud in the accomplishments of KEI, my greatest pride comes at having some small influence in the personal and professional growth I have seen in all my colleagues, current and former.

I leave KEI in good shape.  My single most important and best decision as president of KEI was to recruit and hire Abraham Kim as vice president.  KEI is in good hands with Abe as interim president.

Jack Pritchard

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