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3 requirements for great leadership

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Good managers are rare birds, and great leaders are even rarer, says management consultant Marcus Buckingham.

That’s because leaders are unflinchingly, unfailingly optimistic.

Here are Buckingham’s three requirements for a great leader:
  1. Faith. “If you are going to lead,” Buckingham told business leaders at Wharton this summer, “you’d better have a deep-seated belief that you should be at the helm, dragging everyone into a better future. Virtually nothing about a leader is humble. I’m not saying they are arrogant, but their claims are big.”

  2. Clarity. “If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear.”

  3. Specificity. When Terry Leahy took over the British food store chain Tesco in 1997, he declared that the company’s mission would immediately turn to serving the housewives of the world. He added more checkout lines to every one of the company’s 2,000 stores, mushrooming labor costs but also winning over customers.

    Today, Tesco stands as one of the three biggest retailers in the world.
“When you want to lead, start with the future,” Buckingham says. “Get specific. And get vivid.”

— Adapted from “Good Managers Focus on Employees’ Strengths, Not Weaknesses,” Knowledge @Wharton, http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu.

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