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The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.Lee Iacocca

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Better Under Pressure

Better Under Pressure

What are the main qualities that characterize leaders?

Author(s): Justin Menkes

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

Date of publication: 2011

Buy this book [amazon.com]


Written by a consultant at the leadership recruiting firm, Spencer Stuart, this book describes a panorama of what characterizes leaders. To do this, the author relies on an analysis of the assessments of approximately 200 candidates for CEO positions in premier American companies, as well as about 60 interviews with current or former CEOs of large corporations. The resulting perspective is refreshing and stimulating, and points out the extent to which good leadership is a function of the ability to learn and challenge oneself by confronting different perspectives and the real world. The book is structured around the three main characteristics identified by the author, namely, realistic optimism, focus on the goal and the ability to create order from chaos.


This subtle book is pleasant to read, well-structured, replete with numerous examples, and addresses the reader as a potential leader. A subtle and pleasant read, it puts leadership into perspective, but also provides the keys to progress in this arena.