Executive Leadership

Even if you lack formal authority, you can still practice what business
professor and researcher Robert E. Kelly calls “small-L leadership” by
bringing people together to complete a job.

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Can’t follow what the younger members of your staff are talking about? Here’s a quick sampling of business buzzwords:

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It remains to be seen whether rap superstar Jay-Z will succeed in his
leap to president of Def Jam Recordings, but young leaders can take a
few ideas from his first year on the job.

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As decisions become more critical, the temptation to waffle becomes
greater. So, even previously decisive leaders begin to refer decisions
to other people or allow problems to resolve themselves. Use these strategies to stay decisive:

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In a crisis, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice remains almost serene.

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Use these “attitude guidelines” to focus yourself on the job:

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When conflict erupts among your people, it’s often sparked—believe it or not—by a clash of social identities. These strategies may help:

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In his latest book, Why Decisions Fail,
scholar Paul C. Nutt analyzes 15 disastrous courses of action, from
Ford’s defense of the flammable Pinto to Disney’s ill-advised theme
park in France. In every one, leaders made clearly identifiable
mistakes that the rest of us can avoid.

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If you’re in the habit of glossing over problems to help things run
smoothly, check out these cases of how telling the hard truth paid off:

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Generations ago, they were called commandos or rangers. Today, they’re
called “special ops.” Throughout history, special ops units have adhered to the philosophy of
daring to do the impossible to achieve the extraordinary. How do you employ special ops? Apply the six principles of special ops:

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