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Keep passion alive: Stay close-ish

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Inspire employees to go the extra mile by providing “emotional infrastructure.”

What is it? “It’s a style of leadership that makes employees feel such a level of passion that they want to make personal sacrifices for the good of the company,” says Vijay Govindarajan, a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

A leader can create it by staying close to staff. For big companies though, it can be tough for a leader to be accessible. For example, the leader of a 200-employee company can’t meet anyone who wants access.

But any leader can create a sense of proximity through his or her actions, especially when the staff needs it most.

Example: When California suffered a power outage, eBay CEO Meg Whitman hung tight with the rank and file. For 13 days, she never left the office. She slept on a cot and ate her meals there until everything was restored. She didn’t fix the power lines, but her act was symbolic.

—Adapted from “CEOs Who Inspire—And How They Do It,” Tara Weiss, Fortune.

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