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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Leadership (with featured article “What Makes an Effective Executive,” by Peter F. Drucker) by Bill George, Daniel Goleman, Peter Ferdinand Drucker, Harvard Business Review

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Discovering Your Authentic Leadership

by Bill George, Peter Sims, Andrew N. McLean, and Diana Mayer

DURING THE PAST 50 YEARS, leadership scholars have conducted more than 1,000 studies in an attempt to determine the definitive styles, characteristics, or personality traits of great leaders. None of these studies has produced a clear profile of the ideal leader. Thank goodness. If scholars had produced a cookie-cutter leadership style, individuals would be forever trying to imitate it. They would make themselves into personae, not people, and others would see through them immediately.

No one can be authentic by trying to imitate someone else. You can learn from others’ experiences, but there is no way you can be successful when you are trying ...

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