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The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership by Gary Burnison

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INTRODUCTIONEssential Links in the Leadership Chain

Leadership is the eighth wonder of the world—better seen and felt than defined and said. It’s easy to intellectualize, but elusive to actualize. Leadership is part strategy, but mostly judgment. Always it is about grace, confidence, and touch.

I describe the responsibilities of leadership as being “all in, all the time,” as in a high-stakes card game in Macao, in which you must double down every hand. There are no half measures when it comes to leading others. You must be fully engaged and fully committed, but you must never personalize what is happening around you or even to you.

As the leader, you must be cognizant of the past, intensely focused on the present, and constantly scanning the ...

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