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Unusually Excellent: The Necessary Nine Skills Required for the Practice of Great Leadership by John Hamm

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Chapter 7. A LEADER'S COMMUNICATION: Open, Honest Dialogue

The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

George Bernard Shaw

If you read a typical job description for a CEO or senior leader, written by a search firm or HR team after interviews with the other executives and board members, it will certainly contain a phrase something like this: "The candidate must be a strong and skilled communicator."

Notice it does not say "a strong and skilled talker." It doesn't, because the very definition of a communicator is embedded in the fundamental expectations we have of leaders. Communication is core to leading—and it is a cornerstone of a leader's legacy. Most of the memories we have of leaders in our past include events ...

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