Why Good Leaders Don’t Need Charisma

When you read the business press, it’s easy to get the impression that all you need to do to make your company great is add a charismatic CEO. Find the next Steve Jobs, Jack Welch or Phil Knight and you’re halfway home.

And maybe you would be — if you happened to sign that one-in-a-million leader.

The problem is that, among charismatic executives, for every Steve Jobs, there is at least one Dick Fuld — maybe more. Persuasive and strong-minded, Fuld presided over the downfall of Lehman Brothers. Nor is Fuld alone: Six out of 18 of Germany’s most recent winners of the title “Manager of the Year” were responsible for dramatic missteps, including Daimler’s disastrous ...

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