James A. Autry

James A. Autry

Leadership Expert; Former Fortune 500 Business Executive; Author

James Autry, a former Fortune 500 business executive, is a noted lecturer and the author of ten books, eight of which are about business: Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership, Life and Work: A Manager’s Search for Meaning, Confessions of an Accidental Businessman, Real Power: Business Lessons from the Tao Te Ching, Servant Leader, and The Spirit of Retirement. Confessions of an Accidental Businessman, a collection of his memoirs, was one of five finalists in the 1996 Financial Times’ Booz, Allen, & Hamilton Global Business Book Awards and also received a lengthy, favorable review in USA Today’s Money bookshelf.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Autry grew up in Mississippi, the son and grandson of Baptist ministers and a painter. As a young man, he worked as a reporter, photographer, musician, student tutor, copy boy, farm hand, and Teletype operator, among other occupations. After graduating from the state university in Oxford, he was a jet fighter pilot in France for four years. Following his military service, Autry joined the magazine group for Meredith Corporation, responsible for such publications as Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies Home Journal. He worked his way up the ranks to become the president of the corporation.

Autry has received many awards and distinctions, among them the distinguished alumnus award for the University of Mississippi, being inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1981, the Headliner Award from Women in Communication in 1990, a doctorate in Literature from William Jewel College in 1991, and the Missouri State Medal of Honor in 1991. He has also received considerable national attention as one of the poets featured on Bill Moyers’ special series, “The Power of the Word,” on PBS. He was featured in two videos, “Love and Profit,” which won a Telly Award, and “Life and Works.”

Currently, he is a business consultant with top corporations and is a very popular speaker and workshop leader. He specializes in leadership and management, particularly in creating a workplace in which people can do good work, can find meaning in their work, and can share in the rewards–not just the professional and financial rewards, but the psychological, emotional, and spiritual rewards of a job well done. He specializes in creating workplaces of honesty, openness, and trust.

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