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Executive Leadership

New findings suggest that close-knit teams are often less competitive than teams in which camaraderie is weak. Sociologists at the University of California and elsewhere see some compelling reasons why friendly teams finish last:

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Harvard University President Lawrence Summers provides a lesson in what
not to do as a leader: alienate your people by telling them they’re
probably not genetically equipped to do their jobs.

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Lorraine Monroe’s life changed when a teacher encouraged her to run for
student office in the fourth grade. That began what was to become
Monroe’s lifelong affinity for leadership roles.

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Steve Demos, who once practiced Buddhism in a cave, started making tofu
in a bathtub and selling it at his tai chi class about 20 years ago. By
2001, his organic food company boasted the nation’s best-selling soy
milk: Silk.

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Anybody can excel at the tasks they love. People who rise to the top also excel at what they don’t love.

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Here are the top five smartest books on leadership, as chosen by Fortune magazine:

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If you’re chronically angry, take these four steps to turn your leadership from negative to positive:

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You can find lots of reasons to covet someone else’s position: The
person who’s in it has burned out; you can do it better; it’s time for
a change, etc. But sniping and politicking make you look like the last person who should get that job if it comes open. Here are two better ways to position yourself:

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Aside from his unearthly talent with a ball—“any kind of ball,” says a
childhood friend—what made former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath
almost unstoppable on the gridiron was his toughness. It came from his
three older brothers.

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Here’s the “doom loop” for new products: You’re out of touch with
consumers. Your new-products people are tucked so far away in the
organization that they wind up obsessing over technical problems and
never seeing firsthand what customers want. Take these steps to avoid doom:

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