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Executive Leadership

The more you know about the people you lead, the better leader you’re apt to be. Take out a sheet of paper, and answer the following questions about each person who reports to you:

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For your people’s sake—or for yours—let’s blow up these four excuses for not networking:

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Even when no one around you sees you as a leader, you can be one. That was true of Sacagawea, the lone woman and only Native American on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Although she remains a mystery, here are some of her leadership qualities, unrecognized at the time:

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Most of us believe that seeing into the future is impossible. Not so. We actually have a good idea of many things the future holds. We just need to access that knowledge. To do so, take out three sheets of paper. Label them “One year from now,” “Five years from now” and “10 years from now.” On each, answer questions like these:

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Based on the experiences of men who ran for U.S. president and didn’t make it, here are some lessons on how to recover from failure:

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From the U.S. Marine Corps— leaders by definition, as its members are often the first combatants in a military offensive—here’s a checklist of leadership strategies:

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Back in 1952, Sid Caesar was the highest-paid entertainer in America, earning more than $1 million a year for his NBC variety show, “Caesar’s Hour.” But that show brought incredible pressure. On weeks when programs were aired, Caesar and his team locked themselves behind closed doors for days, perfecting every joke and skit.

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Sandy Stash was handed an assignment from hell: Atlantic Richfield Co. sent her to Butte, Mont., to manage the cleanup of the nation’s biggest Superfund site, reduce the company’s liability and try to calm everybody’s nerves.

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Dennis Donovan describes his style of leadership as being an agent for change. When he joined Home Depot as an executive vice president, his goal was to put a human resources person in every store.

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Most of us have had bosses so insecure that they could never let their employees succeed. Jack Winter was such a guy. Fresh out of college, he found himself in Miami Beach on a venerable staff of comedy writers because TV celebrity Jackie Gleason had picked some of his material. As it turned out, Winter didn’t understand Gleason’s humor. What’s worse, Gleason turned out to be a tyrant. Luckily for us, we can use his memories to become better leaders. Some of Winter’s wonders:

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