Chapter 5. When Leadership Is an Organizational Trait

James O'Toole

Increasingly, the identities of corporations are mere reflections of the personalities of their leaders. Today, for example, a business magazine won't run a cover story about Ford Motor Company; instead, it will feature the company's CEO in a full-color spread. Indeed, recent research shows that the perceived image of a high-profile chief executive brings a premium to a company's stock. Investors thus join journalists in the personification of corporations, focusing on the characters, biographies, and alleged charisma of CEOs. As a result, American business organizations are portrayed as shadows of the "Great Men" who sit in the chief executive's chair. In the most extreme case, ...

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