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Leading So People Will Follow

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Leading So People Will Follow


15 min read
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Good stories can illustrate the crucial attributes of leadership in meaningful ways.

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Consultant and leadership development expert Erika Andersen draws on storytelling to illustrate six attributes you must master to become a great leader. Andersen explains that you need to become “farsighted, passionate, courageous, wise, generous” and “trustworthy” in order to lead. As you strive to become a leader, she advises seeking help from three kinds of people: wise “wizards,” supportive “well-wishers” and improbable “wild cards.” Andersen includes a link to an online leadership assessment exercise and a bonus chapter on improving your listening and “self-talk” skills. getAbstract recommends her chatty, informal guidebook, which draws archetypes from folktales and business to illustrate how to become a leader people want to follow.


The Leadership Way

From ancient times, human beings have sought great leaders. People need leaders to inspire them; throughout history, people have woven stories and legends to illustrate the qualities of a leader. In these sagas, leaders help their communities combat enemy attacks and conquer great perils. Many well-loved myths, fables and fairy tales concern a hero who rescues a princess or a kingdom. As the tale begins, the hero is a decent, unremarkable person, usually male. During the course of the story, he reveals or develops characteristics that enable him to surmount enormous obstacles.

For instance, in one story, the youngest son of a merchant manages to rescue a princess who was chained to a rock atop a mountain by an evil “sorcerer.” A group of “little men” threaten the hero at first, but he wins their support by inspiring them with the story of his quest. The hero thus succeeds where his elder brothers failed, because he is “farsighted, passionate, courageous, wise, generous” and “trustworthy.”

Such are the foundational attributes you need to develop in order to become a great leader. The young man in the story has the unstinting encouragement of...

About the Author

Erika Andersen is the founding partner of Proteus International where she works as a management consultant, coach and leadership development expert.

Comment on this summary

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    M. K. 4 years ago
    Good food for thought
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    R. S. 5 years ago
    Great insightful on qualities of leader.
  • Avatar
    M. H. 5 years ago
    Also available in Chinese, if only I had time...

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