Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, believes leaders have two fundamental roles. The first is to define reality. He describes this as leaders seeing the “real deal” in their organizations and markets. This can be a challenge because of the size and scope of corporations and the pace of change in highly competitive industries. Those in leadership roles also find that some people communicate what they believe a leader wants to hear or slant information, deliberately or not, to favor their preferred outcomes. The second leadership role is giving hope. This is communicating a vision that motivates people to strive for something greater than they thought possible. Instilling hope also helps people overcome the obstacles encountered along ...

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