Chapter 3. Factor 1: Demonstrating Strategic Skills

In the course of my work, I often ask senior executives to define leadership and the skills they look for in their companies' leaders. Although phrased in somewhat different terms, the responses from virtually all senior executives quickly point to two critical skills: the ability to create a strategy that helps the business succeed over the long run and the ability to motivate the organization to follow that strategic direction. These answers aren't surprising since devising strategy and setting the course for the organization is an executive's most fundamental task, while inspiring others to follow a new direction has been the essence of leadership from time immemorial.

For many managers who ...

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