Merck CEO Demonstrates Leadership Character


In an interview with The New York Times, Merck CEO Ken Fraizer demonstrates strong leadership character. He talks about his upbringing, building self-confidence, and learning from failure. He ends the interview with this quote: 

There are lots of examples of companies that have lost their way because they’ve sort of lost their soul, which is a funny word to use, but companies do have souls.

Frazier was last prominent in the media after being the first executive to quit one of President Trump's advisory councils. 

Now, he offers college students this advice: 

I think people should seek adventure in life, as opposed to just allowing their ambitions to drive where they want to end up. Lots of people say, "Tell me what are the steps to get from here to the C.E.O.’s office." I can say honestly I never sought to be a C.E.O. But what I’ve always wanted was a new challenge, what I call an adventure. Seek adventure. Seek excitement in what you do.


  • Read Frazier's interview. What do you learn from his perspective? 
  • When asked about Vioxx, how does Frazier address the failure? How else could he have answered the question? Which was the better choice?
  • How does Frazier demonstrate authenticity?