Patricia Schramm: On Authenticity

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Patricia Schramm has devoted her career to promoting dialogue between the United States and Switzerland. She joined the American Swiss Foundation as its President in 2003 and is an alumna of the 1999 Young Leaders Conference.

Over the past 30 years, I had the opportunity to observe many leaders, young and old. I have been most impressed by those who lead with authenticity.

Faith Whittlesey, the two-time U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and longtime chairman of the American Swiss Foundation, was an authentic leader. She was principled and consistent. Her actions were never motivated by a desire to please or impress. She loved to engage in friendly debate with those who disagreed with her and always remained true to her values and convictions.

Authentic leaders are not afraid to share personal challenges. By exposing their vulnerabilities and humanity, they engender a sense of sympathy. By showing resilience to challenges, they elicit admiration. Like Ambassador Whittlesey, authentic leaders are loved by many and respected by all.  

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