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Listen first, then decide

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

A. Barry Rand, now chief of AARP, was chairman and CEO of Avis back in 1999.

“When I was at Avis, it was owned by the employees,” he says. “I went in there with a bias. I was tired of seeing the motto, ‘We’re second and we try harder.’ I intended to change it. But before I told anybody, I asked the advertising agency to take a look at it, and they said, ‘This is not a slogan, this is a way of life. They truly believe they try harder.’

“So, I kept it the same and just modernized the ads.”

By listening first, Rand decided not to mess with the culture. If he’d come in with guns blazing, he says, “I may have lost my ability to lead.”

—Adapted from “Lessons in Leadership,” Sonia Alleyne, Black Enterprise.

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