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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 58Exert Moral Authority

Managing to make a difference involves creating a culture that encourages people to become their best selves. As a manager, there are a number of ways you can help employees pursue this noble goal. You can recognize and reward people for exemplary behavior. You can punish people for unacceptable behavior. But the most powerful strategy is to exert moral authority.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is moral authority. It does not arise from power or title. When a manager exerts moral authority, people behave better in his or her presence. And they do so not because they fear punishment or seek reward. They do so simply because the manager's mere presence inspires them.

Moral authority includes integrity, but it is much more. One can act with integrity, but not be kind. One can be scrupulously honest, ...

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