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OtherWise by Dick Martin

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32Presence

Bob Selander, the chairman and former CEO of MasterCard International, says one of the things he looks for in managers is “an ability to see things from others’ point of view.” He calls that talent “presence,” but as he explains it, it is clear he’s talking about a particular application of empathy. “Presence is being able to deal with different constituencies in an appropriate way,” he says. “It’s not just the ability to capture an audience’s attention, but the ability to get the right results.”

Selander is an easygoing though demanding and no-nonsense executive; he is hard to rattle (even when, in the middle of a board meeting, he gets a phone call from his doctor telling him he has prostate cancer). The local paper where he lives ...

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