leader network logo

Leader of the Month for December 2004:

Chuck Feltz

Chuck Feltz leader of the month photo

Chuck's story:

Chuck’s career began as a medical social worker in a private Kansas City hospital.  He was hired to start their Physical Medicare and Rehabilitation practice.  Chuck learned many lifelong lessons from his patients, including the importance of a strong personal vision and beginning with the end in mind.

Ultimately, as he began his business career, he went back to school to get his graduate business degree and has since spent his career with Deluxe Corporation.   In his 25 years at Deluxe, he has led the sales and marketing areas and has been CEO or president of four of Deluxe’s business units including the core check business; an international software joint venture startup based in New Delhi, India; a government electronic payments business; and the largest direct check business in the US.

Obligation.  That is the word Chuck Feltz most closely associates with leadership.  According to Chuck, leadership is much more than merely occupying a position where leadership is required.  The leader is uniquely positioned to catalyze the organization toward success through maximum employee engagement and by virtue of this unique role, has the obligation to do so.

There are several key components of this “leadership obligation.”  The ownership of creating a vision that inspires achievement and sets context for the behavior and focus of all employees; the development and perpetuation of a culture that is purposeful, conscious and creates competitive advantage; to know yourself well enough to lead with authenticity; and to be willing to get in front of employees and clients to constantly tell the organization’s story and create a venue where the ideas and thoughts of these critical constituencies are readily accessible.

For Chuck's remarkable leadership and the benefits it brings to the people in his organization, he is the leader of the Month for December 2004.

About Chuck Feltz

President, Deluxe Financial Services, Deluxe Corporation

Home: Woodbury, Minnesota, USA (born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA)

Current personal passion: my 10 and 8 year-old girls; the art and practice of leadership

Dream: to be a foundational element of my two daughters' intellectual, spiritual, and character growth

Most admired leader: Ghandi because of his soft-spoken tenacity, will to achieve and ability to do so through intellectual strength.

Favorite book: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl because it makes clear the power we each hold to control how we perceive and react to life’s circumstances.

Frankl leader book

Favorite quotation: "The future is not just some place we are going, but rather a place we can create." - John Schaar

Lifetime leadership highlights: Running an international start-up company; leading a turnaround; building a new practice in a medical human services setting; parenting; our work on our DeluxeSelect

SM  program and Deluxe Knowledge Exchange.

John Christensen, CEO of ChartHouse Learning and June 2004 recipient of the Leader of the Month award, shares the following, “Chuck is a remarkable leader with unbelievable leadership qualities.  He is a very powerful source of inspiration who builds trust, togetherness, and customer service.  He practices pyramid inversion in his organization, which results in the elimination of the man-made barriers present between the different levels of many organizations.” 

Chuck Feltz and Leadership

Books recommended for aspiring leaders: On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis and Leadership from the Inside Out by Kevin Cashman

Leadership from the Inside Out Kevin Cashman   On Becoming a Leader Warren Bennis

Traits most important in a leader: Authenticity, consistency, ability to create a vision that provides context for all he/she leads; ability to create a conscious culture

Advice to aspiring leaders: Know yourself first: what drives you, what motivates you, your purpose, what you stand for.  It is hard to ask others to follow someone who has not determined their own course yet or does not know what they stand for.

What and where are the best training programs for leaders? Any position you hold where you have “followers,” and programs that help you engage/bring out your authentic style.

Where to Go for More About Chuck Feltz