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Executive Leadership

“I can’t get anybody here to work as hard as I do!” That’s a common complaint among managers.

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Here’s another installment of the best advice that some of our nation’s top business leaders ever received:

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Mackay Envelope Co. CEO Harvey Mackay built his empire by negotiating
strategic deals … with paper makers, printers, suppliers. Nearly
everything he built involved a deal. Here are Mackay’s six top rules for power dealing:

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As you look back over the past few years, can you identify critical
projects that you thought about but never started? Can you justify your
inaction through lack of time or uncooperative colleagues? If so, you may have caved in to a simple lack of willpower, which two
authors of a new book identify as a common leadership problem.

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Good managers are rare birds, and great leaders are even rarer, says management consultant Marcus Buckingham. That’s because leaders are unflinchingly, unfailingly optimistic. Here are Buckingham’s three requirements for a great leader:

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Show that you’re a leader who’s on top of thing.

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Not only do real leaders never cheat, but they never take unfair advantage. That may raise eyebrows in an environment where businesspeople press
for every advantage, but petrochemical tycoon Jon Huntsman says that,
after negotiating a deal, both sides need to feel like winners … so
they’ll come back and do business together again.

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In The Republic, Plato
describes a group of prisoners who had been chained in a cave for so
long that they believed the shadows that played across its back wall
were reality. That sounds outlandish, but is it?

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Here’s one kind of fear that you want your people to feel: the fear that your organization will fail. The right and wrong ways to encourage that kind of fear:

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It looks like a chunky pepper grinder, but the world’s first pocket
calculator—mechanical, not electronic— came into this world only
through utter persistence.

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