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Leadership Skills

Don’t just be a boss — be a leader. Maximize your leadership skills in the five most crucial areas: decision making, executive coaching, leadership training, strategic management and understanding your leadership style.

Situational leadership changes depending on the type of leadership (direction and support) each of your employee’s needs. Emotional leadership is based more on the theory of emotional intelligences and relates to the situation at hand.
Access more articles, tools and advice on maximizing your leadership skills.

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When an executive team held a strategic planning meeting and considered options, the company founder jumped up and proclaimed their ideas worthless: “The only people in this room that aren’t idiots are the engineers who graduated from Carnegie Mellon and Caltech.” That left out more than half the team.

David Ben-Gurion, founding father and first prime minister of Israel, based his leadership on prioritization. He did this for two reasons: He thought that adhering strictly to priorities was the right way to lead, and he believed the complexities of working in a coalition dictated that you couldn’t deal with even two things at once.

Nobody argues the fact that Robert McNamara was a genius. The Ford Motor Co. whiz kid who led the Pentagon into the Vietnam War, and the World Bank into unprecedented expansion, solved problems with sheer brains. But McNamara’s flaw may have been that, in a larger sense, he just didn’t “get it.”

Gauge your audience: When addressing a crowd you don’t know, quickly assess their immersion in your subject ... Distinguish style from substance ... Find a winning strategy.

In a sample group of 65 CEOs, executives spent 18 hours of a 55-hour work­­week in meetings, plus three hours in phone calls and five hours in business meals. For this lot, working in solitary mode averaged just six hours weekly. CEOs say they wish they had more solo thinking time to ponder strategy ...

Anne Stevens was the first board member at Lockheed Martin who took a flight in an F-16 with the chief test pilot. “I actually took control of the plane, did loops and rolls, and then the pilot pulled nine Gs," she says. "I was the only woman he was able to pull nine Gs with."

Scientists still don’t know where skills reside in the brain or how to describe what we know. In fact, we’re not consciously aware of the vast majority of steps in how we do what we do every day.

The most persuasive person that August Turak has ever met was a 19-year-old undergraduate at Duke University named Meredith Parker. Their conversation holds the secret to persuasively getting what you want:
First, find your bearings: “What is the first question a sailor asks when he is in trouble?” a sea captain asks. “What he asks is, ‘Where am I?’”
Bill Gates said, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” It’s true, says leadership guru John Kotter: High achievers tend to feel content with the status quo.
President Ulysses S. Grant was known as a horseman, but few realize the extent of his mastery in the saddle. His son Frederick said: “My father was the best horseman in the army, he rode splendidly and always on magnificent and fiery horses … Oftentimes, I saw him ride a beast that none had approached.”
New success guru Rory Vaden noticed that life’s little conveniences undermine people’s willingness to do the tough things that need to be done. Lesson: Handle life’s storms head on, like the buffalo do.

Only a small fraction of U.S. corporations reach the ripe age of 40, a recent study claims. Do you have what it takes to guide your business to old age? Businesses that do survive are likely to be ruthless about change and make frequent acquisitions that bring in new technologies or open up new markets.

Possibly the hardest thing for leaders who have taken over the direction of a product or service is to sound off clearly on what needs to be done. "The leader’s first task is to be the trumpet that sounds a clear sound,” says Peter Drucker.

Here are some surprising ways a few of the big chiefs stay so productive: Drop what you’re doing and sleep ... Fire your assistant ... Be consistent ... Pick up a challenging habit or train for a triathlon ... Give people half the time they request ... Focus on handshakes, not contracts.

While it’s valuable—and fun—to listen to the positive coaches, mentors and friends in your life, it’s also imperative to ignore the downers, says master marketer Jerry Acuff.
NFL Hall of Famer John Mackey, as a tight end for the Baltimore Colts, made his mark on professional football. He used his outstanding speed to add an extra dimension to offensive play, taking the tight end position—until then mainly a vehicle for blocking and short passes—and turning himself a constant threat for the long touchdown pass.
David Kahn, once owner of Blockbuster and Subway franchises, not to mention a mansion and a Hummer, watched his profit assumptions go down the tubes. But he never cashed in his dreams:
It’s easy to say you’re accountable. But not so easy to say, “Call my cell.”
Garrett Camp, co-founder of the Internet utility StumbleUpon, which helps discover websites that match your interests, tweeted his approach to new product development. He says not to get hung up on potential problems: “When in doubt, proceed.”
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