Executive Leadership

Late in World War II, when the tide had turned against Germany, Adolf
Hitler tried to lift the spirits of his generals, his soldiers and the
public by claiming that “secret weapons” were under development that
would win the war quickly. The weapons were coming soon, he told
everyone. The problem: No such weapons existed.

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Heed the words of David Corderman, chief of the FBI’s Leadership Development Institute: “Leaders are born and made.”

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To gain agility and speed, urges entrepreneur Michael Kramer, standardize your processes.

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Here’s a neat way to parse people in your organization:

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Mackay Envelope Corp. founder and Chairman Harvey Mackay developed
these simple rules for ensuring that his friendships did not undermine
his success … and that his success did not kill his friendships:

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In the middle of negotiations over a demolition job last year, the
owner of Dole Food Co. suddenly chewed out his adversary, the 285-pound
founder of a wrecking company. “Mr. Griffin,” the 150-pound, 83- year-old David Murdock told the man, “you’re fat and you’re going to die.”

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Deborah Gruenfeld enjoys studying leaders who behave badly. “There are just so many good examples of people with power who behave
in ways that demand some kind of psychological explanation,” says the
director of Stanford’s Center for Leadership Development and Research.

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Before you hire an executive coach, beware if he or she:

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Without benefit of education or connections, Clarence Avant used
mentors to climb to the top of the pop music business … and then became
a mentor himself.

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As a young man who lost his hearing in a motorcycle wreck, King Jordan
never dreamed he could become the head of anything. Even in 1988, when he became the first deaf president of Gallaudet
University, the world’s only liberal arts university for the deaf,
Jordan still wasn’t sure he’d succeed.

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