I got my pilot’s license back in 1984 (which is amazing, because normally they don’t allow 3-year olds to fly airplanes). When the FAA examiner signed my logbook certifying that I was now an official, licensed private pilot, he said something to me that I didn’t take all that seriously at the time. What he said was:
The cover story in the current issue of Fortune magazine is “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.” Once again, I didn’t make the cut. I suppose it’s possible that I’m number 51, but my guess is that I’m further down the list.
But the story got me thinking: what makes a great leader? What are the skills that the truly effective leaders possess?
I once worked for a TV station where senior management wanted to get rid of one of the news anchors. Because of the stipulations of her contract, they couldn’t just fire her outright. So they came up with a plan. Their plan was to make her so miserable that she would feel compelled to quit.
Now, how could I possibly know about this? At the time, I was just a glorified secretary (and by “glorified” I mean “not glorified”).
I just had a client for an upcoming keynote speech tell me, “We’re going through a lot of change right now.”
YOU: “Oh my God, he’s talking about my organization! We’re going through a lot of change right now!”
Okay, before you get too excited [YOU: “Too late!”], you should know that I hear this from nearly every client. I conducted an informal survey (translation: I was still in my pajamas when I made the calls) of some of my fellow motivational ...