Integrity First: Remembering OOH Legend Karl Eller

Nancy Fletcher with Karl Eller at the 1997 OAAA National Convention in Washington, DC

As media, sports, and academia honor the memory of the legendary Karl Eller (1928-2019), his many admirers recall the traits that guided him and inspired others.

I knew Karl 40 years. He was positive, even when times were tough. He was resilient, standing tall after setbacks… bouncing back after taking a punch. The personal trait most important to Karl was integrity. 

With great respect for my mentor and friend, I share Karl’s personal statement on characteristics that guided him. Experience, Karl said, is easy to provide and quickly put to good use by people with these qualities: integrity followed by motivation, capacity, understanding, and knowledge.

Thank you Karl Eller for your leadership and wisdom.

“Let me leave you with the one principle that has guided me through the tough times and the good times!

When you are looking at the characteristics on how to build your personal life, first comes integrity; second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and last and least, experience. 

Without integrity, motivation is dangerous;

Without motivation, capacity is impotent;

Without capacity, understanding is limited;

Without understanding, knowledge is meaningless;

Without knowledge, experience is blind.  Experience is easy to provide and quickly put to good use by people with all the other qualities. 

Make absolute integrity the compass that guides you in everything you do.  And surround yourself only with people of flawless integrity.”