Executive Leadership

Chase your fears out into the open and pick them off, one by one.

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Leaders can develop tunnel vision about performance, so it’s important
not to lose sight of your role in conveying the meaning of your
organization. Here’s how your job helps people make sense of their own jobs beyond their paychecks:

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Want to win? It’s simple. Besides talent and laser-beam desire, you need something that racing
great Bobby Rahal sees in champions: a chip on the shoulder that says:
“You don’t think I can do it? Come out and take a shot at me.” Danica Patrick has that.

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“Exactly what’s keeping us from moving ahead?” That’s the most productive question you can ask a team. To use the question effectively, try these techniques:

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If you like to understand your own world through a parallel universe, the new management book Kingdomality divides
the leaders of a mythical medieval kingdom into four main personality
types, all of which are vital to running the place. The four:

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Arguably the most inspiring coach of all time, Vince Lombardi turned the also-ran Green Bay Packers into a football dynasty. Fortunately, Lombardi was not shy about expressing his leadership
philosophy, which comes across strong and clear in these quotes:

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Sometimes, you just have to manufacture an opportunity … even when it’s sitting right there in front of you. That’s the story of Michele Hoskins, a single mother of three who had
read that the 1980s was to be the “decade of the woman” and knew she
wanted to strike out on her own but didn’t even know what an
entrepreneur was. She had to look it up in the dictionary.

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Lack of candor can destroy your credibility. Perfect example: When former
NFL player Pat Tillman died under fire in Afghanistan, his
fellow soldiers knew almost immediately that they’d killed him by
mistake. But in a stupid attempt to look good, the Army shushed its
soldiers and told Tillman’s family that he’d died while storming a
hill, shouting orders to his Rangers.

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Procter & Gamble Chairman and CEO A.G. Lafley tells a tale of
getting down to core issues when a valuable employee wants to leave. It happened when Lafley once resigned from P&G. His boss, Steve Donovan, tore up the letter of resignation. “Go home,” Donovan told Lafley.

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Here is an abbreviated version of five practices that lay out the leader’s path:

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