Executive Leadership

If you’ve ever caught yourself saying— a bit defensively—“I was just
being honest,” rest assured that you’re not the only person to have
offended a colleague, customer or staff member with your candor. But effective leaders smooth out the rough edges of their candor, with these techniques:

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People at varying levels of authority had to make many decisions as
Hurricane Katrina bore down on the Gulf Coast.
Unfortunately, too many opted to follow the chain of command instead of
doing what had to be done.

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Barbara Corcoran overcame poverty and a series of setbacks to become
one of the most powerful real estate brokers in America, heading New
York-based the Corcoran Group. Corcoran says she excels at failure and does her best in a crisis. Examples:

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If, as the old adages go, 90 percent of success is just showing up, and
80 percent of leadership is caring about your people, Dr. Alan Manevitz, a psychiatrist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital,
is a successful leader.


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If you want to keep the respect and affection of the people you lead,
stay alert to the signs that you’re becoming a high-maintenance boss:

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Mike Kelley lives on the island paradise of Maui, where he headed after
only a year of college on the mainland. He started by selling tanning
lotion by the pool. Now, he owns several companies that provide
recreation for tourists, as well as business and concierge services for
hotels. Kelley’s story proves that, to lead, you often have to take a leap of faith. Here’s how it happened:

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Golden opportunities are rare in business. They’re also hard to predict because they arise from random, unconnected events. That’s why practicing active waiting makes sense. Here’s what we mean:

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Before he became a World War II hero, Jimmy Doolittle flew across China as part of a promotional trip around the world. His little plane ran into its share of turbulence and other dangers,
but it wasn’t until Jimmy and his wife Joe reached the Dutch East
Indies that something other than his flying skills was tested.

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The new owner of several coal mine shafts in Harlan, Ky., was puzzled:
Should he heed the advice of the grizzled ex-miners he’d bought the
shafts from and embrace the new technology of open-pit mining, which a
new competitor had done? Or should he expand his current business by digging another shaft?

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Even though the concept of total quality management arose in America,
it was the Japanese who truly got it, and it’s now gaining in Korea. Americans have never fully learned the lessons of quality. Consider the fable of the tortoise and the hare.

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