Rise Performance Group

Leadership Qualities of a Journalism Icon: Walter Cronkite

The former anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite”was often referred to as the most trusted man in America.  He was a longtime champion of journalism values.

Cronkite was the recipient of a Peabody Award, the William Allen White Award for Journalistic Merit, an Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the George Polk Award and a Gold Medal Award from the International Radio and Television Society.

Bob Kaplitz, now a partner in the Rise Performance Group, frequently contributed stories to the CBS Evening News which Cronkite actively oversaw.  Kaplitz says the leadership qualities of this journalism icon centered around his integrity.  And that’s why his team — and viewers — trusted him.

How can you tell Cronkite or anyone has integrity?

Bob Kaplitz”Just watch how he questions his producers, reporters, and video editors to ensure the coverage is fair and factual,” Kaplitz says.  ”Even before the final story was edited, Cronkite and his producers wanted to know every line of copy and even a transcription of the interviews,” Kaplitz says.

How do you put these qualities to work for you as a leader — a person of influence?  Kaplitz says you must earn trust by ensuring you’re getting all sides of issues before making decisions.  Also, Cronkite was an excellent listener.  In fact, he listened carefully to ensure Kaplitz and other reporters were getting both sides of the story.  In fact, sometimes there were three sides.

The video clip with this blog post is one of the longer stories Cronkite ran on his newscast.  Bob Kaplitz reports on chilling confessions of murders played in court.

Leadership is important whether you’re anchoring a newscast, leading a company, or work in any position, Kaplitz says.  John Maxwell calls it The 360 degree leader.  You can lead down.  Up.  And across.  The more leaders companies create, the better their top and bottom lines.

Contact Bob Kaplitz at the Rise Performance Group at 214.766.4236 for a complimentary evaluation  of your company’s leadership challenges and a plan delivering solutions.

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