Let's face it, we are lousy at picking leaders. Time and again, we complain about the quality of the men and women who run our companies, organizations, and governments. We bemoan their incompetence, their detachment, their lack of urgency. Inevitably we get rid of these leaders and move on to the next ones, usually with a bit of hope and excitement. Unfortunately the pattern repeats, and we find ourselves right back where we started, shaking our heads.

Why does this happen? Why don't we do a better job of picking effective leaders? For starters, because selecting the right people can be very, very hard.

Imagine yourself in the following situation.

You are the chairperson of the board of directors of a large technology company. ...

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