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The Essence of Leadership

Jeff Hough on Jun 25, 2013 4:00:00 AM

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Many leadership gurus will tell you that by doing certain things you will become a better leader. To sell more books or get more speaking engagements, they develop lists to follow that help you become a better leader. While some of what they may tell you will help, I believe they miss the mark of what really helps someone become a great leader.

I have long held the belief that there are core elements of leadership that are essential and timeless and those individuals who possess these traits are the ones who really move and influence people. I am reading a book, Eleven Rings, by Phil Jackson, the most successful coach in NBA history, outlining his philosophies on leadership and the art of dealing with people. Phil Jackson is known for his ability to take a diverse group of individuals and form them into cohesive units that consistently achieve greatness. In the book, he alludes to Parables of Leadership, published by the Harvard Business Review, which attempts to “capture the unseen essence of leadership.”  Using parables based in Oriental culture, the authors examine leadership using a unique medium that encourages introspection and deep thought.

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