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John P. Kotter on What Leaders Really Do by John P. Kotter

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Leadership at the Turn of the Century

FOR 30 YEARS I have been studying the actions of those who run organizations, trying to record and clarify what they do, why they behave as they do, and what effect their choices have on other individuals and enterprises. I did not begin this work with an explicit focus on “leadership” in mind—indeed, the word can be found rarely if at all in my early writings. Nevertheless, it is toward leadership that my efforts have ultimately been directed, a fact that says something important about the evolving nature of what we call “managerial” work.

After conducting fourteen formal studies and more than a thousand interviews, directly observing dozens of executives in action, and compiling innumerable surveys, ...

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