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Leadership in Action: Issues and Observations - Leadership Experience - What is it and What Counts? by John F. McCarthy, Kelly M. Hannum, Douglas T. Hall

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SUCCESS STORY

The late Darwin Smith is an example of how diversity of experience can be a critical factor resulting in leadership excellence. When Smith was in the U.S. Army's officer training school, he was told, “You'll never be a leader.” Smith graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1955 and, after a short stint with a Chicago law firm, joined Kimberley-Clark's legal department. He intended to stay only long enough to gain a little corporate experience but ended up rising through the ranks and becoming chairman and CEO of Kimberly-Clark in 1971. Soon after, he was diagnosed with nose and throat cancer, yet even from that experience he learned, telling his wife, Lois, “If you have a cancer in your arm, you've got to have the guts to ...

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