Executive Leadership

A snapshot of three leaders across the eight-episode PBS reality series “Colonial House”—in which 21st century participants recreate American colonial life—offers three leadership lessons in miniature:

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William Paley virtually invented mass entertainment after founding CBS, the dominant network through much of television’s history. A few of his approaches:

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Marcus Tullius Cicero, the famous Roman orator born in 3106 B.C., survived decades of political turmoil and lived a long and productive life as one of Rome’s most illustrious citizens. One reason: He cultivated close friends whom he could rely upon for support.

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Anybody ever called you a control freak? If so, you’ll recognize some of this behavior:

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Sometimes, the most spectacular results come from apparent chaos, like a shock trauma unit. That’s because leadership can combine rigid hierarchy with a fluid blending of roles.

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Beware of making every hiring decision by yourself;  it can yield a clone like staff with a poor mix of strengths and weaknesses.

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Corrine Perritano regularly finds new managers from among her customers across the country.

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Don’t take all the heat when delivering bad news.

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Biographies show that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was much better at envisioning goals than making detailed plans for how to reach them.

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Develop the habit of saying “Please explain that to me” in meetings; then, ask it again until you learn all you need to know.

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