Author Archives: Rusty Rueff

About Rusty Rueff

Rusty Rueff, author of purposed worKING. Rusty Rueff is the former Chairman Emeritus of The GRAMMY Foundation in Los Angeles. He most recently completed the successful 16 month leadership role as Coordinating National Co-Chair for Technology for Obama (T4O) for the reelection of President Obama and ten-years of Board service and President of the Board of Trustees of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Corporately, most recently Rueff was the Chief Executive Officer at SNOCAP, Inc. until the acquisition of the company by imeem, Inc. in April 2008. Before joining SNOCAP in 2005, he was Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Electronic Arts (EA) from 1998 until 2005. He was also with the PepsiCo companies for more than ten years, with the Pratt & Whitney division of United Technologies for two years, and in commercial radio as an on-air personality for six years. Rusty holds an M.S. in counseling and a B.A. in radio and television from Purdue University. In 2003 he was named a distinguished Purdue alumnus, and he and his wife, Patti, are the named benefactors of Purdue’s Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts. He is a corporate director of and runcoach. He is the co-founder and Executive Committee Member of, serves on the Founding Circle of The Centrist Project and a founding Board Member of The GRAMMY Music Education Coalition. He is also the co-author of the book Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business. Rusty and his wife, Patti, reside in Hillsborough, CA and Charlestown, R.I.

day 21: Leading Is Hard Work

Are you a leader at work or wanting to become a leader? In the work world we are in today everyone has a chance to be a leader of something at some point or another. If not a defined leadership role within the company, there are always task forces, improvement projects, group exercises, committees, representation opportunities, etc., to lead. I have been in the middle of the argument about whether leaders or born or made so many times that when it comes up now, I just stand to the side. It’s not an argument worth leading. 🙂

However, there are some truths about leading that one should know before they decide to take on a leadership mantle and one of them is that leadership is hard work and it takes the willingness to work hard at it if you want to be any good and succeed. Proverbs 12:14 calls it like it is; “Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave”. Now, I don’t think that we need to take it literally that if we don’t work hard we will be enslaved, but what the verse is saying is that if we work hard we can become a leader and to be a leader we have to work hard. And, we have to work harder to become a leader than how hard we will work when we are not in a leadership position. Why I think this is an important lesson is that there are lots of people who feel like leadership is a right instead of an earned privilege and as such they are not willing to do the work that needs to be done and is expected from those who are being led. Have you ever served on a committee where the leader didn’t work hard enough at it, so much so that is was painfully obvious? What happens? More often than not someone else has to pick up the slack and fill the leadership void. When that happens no one feels good about it and ultimately everyone suffers. Today may be a day that you are offered the opportunity to lead. If you choose to do so, know that you will be asked to work hard at it and give it your all. That is what we are supposed to do. And if we do it, then we again set an example of how it is to go above and beyond for others and to go the “extra mile”. Leadership is a privilege that is so many times worth accepting and stepping up to the challenge. My hope for you today is that if you choose to accept the privilege that you go into it with both eyes and arms open and you give it all that you have! There are others who are counting on you to do so.

Reference: Proverbs 12:24 (New Living Testament)