People are afraid to become leaders because the role demands visibility and vulnerability. Even people already in leadership
positions often shirk the essential part of their jobs requiring their
presence at the front of the pack. It’s impossible to lead without putting yourself out there. To be a leader means:
Tired of negativity at work? OK. Here are some good things employees
have to say about their bosses … the kind of leaders they’d go to the
Bruce Gordon is a leader to keep an eye on. As the new chief exec of the NAACP, he’s the first leader in the organization’s history with a corporate background.
Marketing exec Jeffrey J. Fox doesn’t like the old saying that if you do what you love, success will follow. His view: “Take the job that offers you the most money. If you are in a
corporation, always take the transfer, promotion or assignment that
pays the most.” Sounds mercenary, until you hear Fox’s rationale:
Many a leader has crashed on the rocks of mergers and acquisitions.
That’s because the sirens’ call says that merging two corporate
cultures is the “soft stuff.” The hard truth, notes Susan Bowick, who retired last year as an
executive vice president at Hewlett- Packard (HP), is that “the soft
stuff is the hardest stuff.”
Before Bruce Springsteen became “The Boss,” Frank Sinatra was Il Padrone (“The Boss” in Italian). To Italian-Americans close to him, Sinatra became one of those guys known in Sicily as uomini rispettati,
or men of respect. Such leaders were both majestic and humble. They
would go out of their way to right a wrong. They’d see to things
personally. Villagers would kiss their hands.
Mocked as “a third-rate Western lawyer” and a “fourth-rate lecturer,”
Abraham Lincoln turned out to be a political genius: not because he
mastered politics but because of his emotional strengths:
Former Sunbeam Chairman and CEO Albert Dunlap thinks relying on consensus is a copout.
Everybody pays lip service to customer contact. Real leaders actually pick up the phone.
“I can’t get anybody here to work as hard as I do!” That’s a common complaint among managers.