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Are you presidential timber?

Four ingredients of wise, respected leaders

by on
in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,Office Politics,Workplace Communication

As you watch the new president take office, you may think, “Why not me?”

Fair enough. If you’ve ever wondered whether you have what it takes to become the world’s most powerful person, check how well you match up with qualities of presidential leadership in Fred Greenstein’s book, The Presidential Difference.

1. Public communication. While it’s important to speak and to listen effectively in private, it’s even more critical to convey your ideas at meetings or in speeches. Your poise in front of a group convinces others to follow your lead.

2. Organizational ability. The best leaders translate beliefs into actions. They provide a blueprint for results, rather than getting bogged down in process. They also delegate aggressively to mobilize a team.

3. Political skill. Office politics isn’t that different from real politics. You must exert power judiciously to advance your agenda—without alienating potential allies. A leader needs to feel comfortable controlling the lever of power, exercising or withholding it as circumstances change.

4. Cognitive style. A president must sift through mountains of advice, extract insights and make sound decisions. If you can weigh clashing evidence or contradictory claims and arrive quickly at reasonable conclusions, you can lead.

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