Executive Leadership

John F. Kennedy had many advantages when he first ran for elected office in 1946, including money, charm, wit and good looks. But Kennedy also decided to buck the status quo. His approach raised him to national prominence.

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Figure out your “center” as a leader, by answering these questions:

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In 1992, Mike Schwartz walked into a Harley-Davidson dealership in
Delaware … and learned that he’d have to wait a year and half for his
bike. Convinced that he could do better, Schwartz told his wife: “I’m going to buy that place.” She knew he meant it.

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Funny, but the very same skills that leaders find most important for
leadership— communicating and listening (43 percent)—they also consider
their biggest shortcomings. At least according to a new survey.

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“Whole” leaders balance head, heart and guts, while “partial” leaders
lag in one or two qualities. Here’s a series of questions to determine
if you or your organization are balanced, along with adjustments you
can make:

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You may not want to think about this, but the sooner you figure out your own succession plan, the better. “Leaders don’t go soon enough,” says Gary Erickson, founder of Clif Bar, the $100 million maker of energy bars.

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In the brave new world of excess supply, your customer is king. So says Peter Georgescu, former chairman of communications firm Young & Rubicam.

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Bad hires suck the juice right out of an organization. That’s why you’ve got to hire the right people.

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No matter how well you prepare or how hard
you work, luck still plays a role in success. Consider the late Cy Feuer and Ernest Martin, who together produced
some of Broadway’s monster hits, including “Guys and Dolls” and “How to
Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

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Think the government would run better if agency chiefs behaved more like CEOs? Not according to Good to Great author Jim Collins.

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