Executive Leadership

George Washington stood first in the hearts of his countrymen for many reasons. One of them: He treated people right. By the time he was
16, he had copied out the Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. Here’s a sampling from the book, a code of 110 rules, that Washington often displayed:

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When Pennsbury High School junior class President Bob Costa was asked
to take on a mission—persuade local-but-soon-to-be-national pop star
John Mayer to play the 2003 Pennsbury High junior prom—he agreed.

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The following novels are old, corny and sexist. But they were the most
popular “get ahead” books of their day because they taught effective
lessons about success.

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Building and leading an effective team require choreographing a complex dance among people, roles and ideas. Follow these four steps:

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Carole Howe’s strengths lie in her imaginative concepts:
tickle-your-fancy ideas that brought shops like Bow Wow Meow, Field
& Stream and Fly Babies into airport concourses. But Howe, founder and president of the specialty retail group that
operates Creative Kidstuff, The Paradies Shops and other successful
airport retail franchises, admits that she isn’t much of a planner.

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Strive to see your actions through the eyes of the other people in your organization.

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Sure, barbarians scaled the walls. But they didn’t cause the fall of Rome; leadership failure did the trick. Most sobering of all, the mistakes Roman leaders made can destroy your career and organization, too.

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Most people think of musicians as creative individualists, but in fact,
musicians in a symphony orchestra work within a rigid hierarchy that
allows little or no personal expression. Despite its ironclad structure, the San Francisco Symphony—led by
musical director Michael Tilson Thomas—has managed to develop a
reputation for creativity and innovation. Here’s how:

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For the average person, fear offers a warning to stop. For leaders,
fear offers evidence that they’ve arrived at an important juncture.

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Richard Scrushy, Ken Lay, Bernie Ebbers: Are you listening? A recent study shows that companies run by superstars who’ve won major
awards from the business press underperform their competitors and
markets in the years after winning, as they start spending more time on
things that don’t help the company.

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