Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


Ethics and family values

Would you ever think to associate a con man with one of the world’s most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents? Most of you have probably heard the story of Frank W. Abagnale, which was written in a book and later immortalized in a movie called Catch Me If You Can created by Steven Spielberg starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Both the book and the movie focus primarily on Frank’s life from age 16 through 21, the time he pulled off some incredibly illegal and unethical acts. The more amazing and inspiring story is what Frank did with his life after he served his time in prison.

You can hear Frank tell his own story (which differs somewhat from the movie) on the Live on Purpose Radio blog. In the next episode — Catching Frank Abagnale — you can listen to Dr. Paul interview Frank about his views on ethics, family and other important topics: “What [Frank] has done … can illuminate the principles that could bring some enormous power into your life if you are willing to be taught from his deep bank of experience.

Steven Spielberg said: “I did not immortalize Frank Abagnale on film because of what he did 40 years ago as a teenager; I immortalized him on film because of what he’s done for his country these past 30 years.” Some people tell Frank he was brilliant or a genius. He disagrees; had he been brilliant he would have found some other way to survive. He talks about his love for his parents and for his country. He tells how the love of his wife turned his life around. It’s an intriguing and inspiring story that is well worth listening to.