Interlude with the Terminator

By Alex Ramsey – September 2004
From the moment I met Arnold Schwarzenegger, leadership radiated from the smallest duty. Having just pulled up a chair at the hotel where he was having breakfast with his entourage, Arnold firmly, but gently, grasped my elbow and surprised me by excusing the two of us. In those days, I was a newspaper columnist for the rich and famous there to interview him. He was on his way to charming the world. He whisked me up the elevator to his room where away from curious onlookers and celebrity handlers, talking in private was a breeze.

After a personal lecture on fitness (“Youah ahms aah too skinny, Ahhlex. You should lift weights”), I asked about then steady girlfriend Maria Shriver. His responses were candid and good-natured. But as easily as the interview went back then, even I couldn’t imagine how far Arnold would go. From fledgling movie star, to governor of one of the world’s largest economies, his career skyrocketed.

During that brief press meeting, two keys to Arnold’s success were clear. For one thing, Arnold acts. I’m not referring to theatrics. He truly is a person of action. A less decisive individual would have remained within the safety net of his managers. In addition, Arnold understood the importance of a team to help him accomplish his goals. Besides a strong supporting cast of managers, coaches, and marketing experts, Arnold even enlisted me as a supporting player. He treated me as if mine were the most important newspaper column in the world. By engaging my support, he earned an especially favorable portrait in my column.

It’s been a long time since I first met Gov. Schwarzenegger, and both of us have now have different job titles. Today, I coach and consult with executives to improve corporate performance. I have identified seven critical traits of great leaders. Among those seven, Arnold’s abilities to act decisively and attract a team are just as true today for leadership as when we met. These seven traits, I call “Leadership Lodestars.” No matter what your personal style, understanding these traits can help you perform even more effectively. 
To learn more about how you can increase your leadership leverage and the seven lodestars, I invite you to find out more by calling me (214.696.3510) at LodeStar Universal (

Warm regards,
Alex Ramsey
President, LodeStar Universal.