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Champion your mavericks

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

After a long career as a retail executive, Joe Scarlett retired in 2007. But he didn’t let his decades of knowledge go to waste; instead, he established the Scarlett Leadership Institute to help executives develop as leaders.

Scarlett became president of Tractor Supply Co. in 1987 and its chairman and CEO in 1992. He led the retailer through significant growth, and it now has more than 1,245 stores in 48 states.

EL: What’s the key to great leadership?

Scarlett: It’s so important to listen to people. And you don’t want to shoot the messenger when you get bad news. It’s better to probe, to learn more.   

EL: But isn’t bad news stressful to hear?

Scarlett: Sometimes it is. But the best way to deal with it is to listen first and make sure you understand it.

EL: Reflecting on your years as CEO, to what do you attribute your success?  

Scarlett: I’m an opportunist. I’m always looking for great opportunities. I’ve found that maveric...(register to read more)

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