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60-Minute CEO: Mastering Leadership an Hour at a Time by Dick Cross

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Chapter 32

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Duty Versus Responsibility

When I talk to CEOs about the gravity of their jobs, many bemoan their burdens and responsibilities. They talk about what they “owe”—to boards, investors, lenders, customers, and employees. But that’s a trap, one set by those just mentioned. It ensures that their interests are highest on your obligation list, and even higher on your guilt list when things go wrong. And most of us step right into the trap.

The result is that we direct our attention to the wrong things. We divert our energy toward the concerns of others rather than toward what we know is most important for our business. We focus on spreadsheets ...

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