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The complexity of being a great leader


On his HBR.org blog, Tony Schwartz explores leadership greatness, and discovers it's more complicated than it might seem.

He observes: "Many companies now build leadership programmes around developing 'competencies', a list of core qualities they expect all their leaders to embody. It's one size fits all, and the aim is to help people get up to speed wherever they fall short."

But this vastly oversimplifies the challenge of greatness in a climate of "relentlessly increasing complexity". And Schwartz adds that "trying to build one's unique strengths turns out to be just as limited as single-mindedly seeking to overcome liabilities".

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