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I am not suggesting that charisma, if we define that as being empathic, interesting and engaging, is not a valuable quality for a leader to have.

I think we should all strive to be interesting and interested.

But leadership is so much more.

Here’s what Peter Drucker thinks:

“Some of the best business and nonprofit CEOs I’ve worked with over a 65-year consulting career were not stereotypical leaders. They were all over the map in terms of their personalities, attitudes, values, strengths, and weaknesses. They ranged from extroverted to nearly reclusive, from easygoing to controlling, from generous to parsimonious.”

According to Drucker, what made them effective is that they followed 8 practices:

    • They asked, “What needs to be done?”
    • They asked, “What is right for the enterprise?”

    • They developed action plans.
    • They took responsibility for decisions.
    • They took responsibility for communicating.
    • They were focused on opportunities rather than problems.

  • They ran productive meetings.
  • They thought and said “we” rather than “I.”

The first two practices gave them the knowledge they needed. The next four helped them convert this knowledge into effective action. The last two ensured that the whole organization felt responsible and accountable.

[HBR – What Makes An Effective Executive]