An intriguing aspect of leaders is how often they fail to appreciate how unusual they are.
In their 1992 study of moral, developmental psychologists Anne Colby and William Damon reported that such leaders don’t make any distinction between themselves and others.
In his own studies, Howard Gardner, a leading theorist on intelligence, finds that creative leaders expect every person in their orbit will naturally want to strive for originality, defy current practices and make a mark that will be remembered. They also assume that everyone will be willing to organize their own lives so as to ensure immortality for their work.
Lesson: Even if you carry a powerful understanding of your team’s mission, don’t assume that everyone around shares your drive or your goals. For them, you’ll need to be at your most persuasive in conveying excitement for the mission.
— Adapted from Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership, Howard Gardner with Emma Laskin, Basic Books.
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