Executive Leadership

Professional football teams are fairly evenly matched. What makes the difference between winners and losers is leadership. John C. Maxwell calls it the Law of the Edge, and it’s pretty powerful stuff.

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“Ninety-nine percent of people, once they learn how to do something,
stop improving,” says K. Anders Ericsson, professor of psychology at
Florida State University and co-editor of Expert Performance in Sports.

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“To go too far,” Confucius said, “is as bad as to fall short.” You can go too far with working hours. In fact, overwork can contaminate your career. Here’s how:

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Uncover your negotiation opponent’s hidden agenda, with this classic sales question:

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Determine who the real contributors are by asking individual team members for their confidential views

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Leaders see opportunity in every adversity. The cure may well outlast the disease.

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Like Gideon in biblical times and Coretta Scott King in our own, actor
Michael J. Fox wasn’t exactly thrilled about his call to leadership. Famous for playing boyish roles in Back to the Future movies and the TV show Family Ties, Fox never would have begun championing research on Parkinson’s disease if he hadn’t been diagnosed with it himself at age 30.

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It wasn’t merely Lawrence Summers’ perceived arrogance and abrasiveness
that sank his presidency at Harvard University. Large structural
changes in higher education—including the rise of science and
technology—also contributed to his downfall. Here are a few actions Summers could have taken to shore up his standing:

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Build trust among your people by stressing the seriousness of the problems that lie ahead of them.

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Check your listening skills by … having your hearing tested.

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