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The Future of Leadership: Today's Top Leadership Thinkers Speak to Tomorrow's Leaders by Gretchen M. Spreitzer, Warren Bennis, Thomas G. Cummings

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Chapter Thirteen

When Leadership Is an Organizational Trait

James O'Toole

Increasingly, the identities of corporations are mere reflections of the personalities of their leaders. Today, a business magazine won't run a cover story about Ford Motor Company; instead, it will feature the company's CEO, Jacques Nasser, in a full-color spread. Even in the high-tech world—where one would expect the full focus of attention to be on the latest cyber gizmo—the public eye is riveted more on the persona of CEO Scott McNealy than on his company's red-hot Java product—and hardly any heed is paid to Sun Microsystems as a corporation. Indeed, recent research shows that the perceived image of a high-profile chief executive brings a premium to a company's stock. ...

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