Learning about Leadership through Life – with Duke Energy NC President David Fountain

David Fountain, Duke Energy NC President (Photo from PR Newswire)

David Fountain, Duke Energy NC President (Photo from PR Newswire)

Since I often present and talk about leadership via my career development and diversity consulting practice, I always enjoy talks about leadership. Two of the more enjoyable series here in the Raleigh NC area are the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s C-Suite Perspectives and the Triangle Business Journal’s Power Breakfasts. (See a list of blogs with links of previous sessions I wrote about at the bottom of this blog.)

I recently attended the Raleigh Chamber’s latest C-Suite Perspectives on October 21st with the speaker being David Fountain, current North Carolina President of Duke Energy. I enjoyed David’s unique personal approach to his leadership lessons in that he chronologically recounted events in his life and the leadership lessons he learned during each time period.

Lesson 1: The Importance of Clear and Concise Expectations. Growing up in rural Guilford county, his father and all other male relatives before him achieved the highest rank of “Eagle” in the Boy Scouts, and he knew the same was expected of him.

In group rope climbing, the lead climber is indeed responsible for those behind him or her (Photo from Getty Images)

In group rope climbing, the lead climber is indeed responsible for those behind him or her (Photo from Getty Images)

Lesson 2: You are responsible for those behind you. In college, he was involved with Wilderness Leadership trips, and toward the end of his college days, he was leading the trips. He knew that in leading complex rope climbs, he was indeed responsible for those behind him.

Lesson 3: A leader is responsible for mentoring others. After college in his early career days, David was fortunate to have a number of effective mentors who were truly interested in his professional and personal growth. And now as a senior leader, he is likewise responsible to mentor others as he was mentored.

Lesson 4: The importance of sticking with a team. And then a little later in life, David had a few daughters and ended up coaching a girl’s basketball team. That first year they lost every single game going 0-10. But the girls genuinely liked each other, stuck together, committed to growing skills and teamwork, and three years later won their league championship.

Lesson 5: The importance of resilience. And here David shared of a very recent event in his professional life – Hurricane Matthew hitting North Carolina and 1.5 million customers losing power. Several locations included entire substations underwater from the flooding. But Duke Energy committed to the task, people worked long hours, consumers were patient and the state demonstrated reliance and bounced backed.

I thank David for his fresh human personal approach to sharing his leadership lessons.

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Previous Leaderships blogs starting with the most recent:

May 2016: Seven Insights on Leadership, Success and Diversity from Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good, C-Suite Perspectives

Feb 2015: Raleigh Chamber of Commerce CEO Harvey Schmitt shares about leadership and collaboration, C-Suite Perspectives

May 2014: Exploring Leadership, Talent Development and Innovation with a Local Senior ABB Executive, C-Suites Perspectives.

March 2014: Leadership Advice from a Senior Lenovo Executive, C-Suite Perspectives

Nov 2012: Career and Leadership Inspiration from Machelle Sanders of Biogen, TBJ Power Breakfast