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How effective leaders can make principled decisions

Kim S. Nash | Sept. 29, 2011
Wharton School Professor Michael Useem says every leader has guiding principles. In his new book, The Leader's Checklist, he offers 15 principles that are important when making difficult decisions.

It looked impossible. Golborne decided, at considerable risk-if things went wrong, the national government would be blamed-to lead the task of getting the miners back to surface.

The principle there is that it's of critical importance to take stock of where you are and who you are. You must assess whether you can make a difference. Convey your character.

What's the lesson for CIOs?

CIOs might see problems in the supply chain or with the handling of private information and lead change.

If you see problems that your expertise and experience could solve, even if you're not in charge, sometimes you're better positioned to solve them. You want to identify as a leader. You decide for yourself: In my lifetime I'm going to help other people get to a promised land. To lead is to make a difference in the lives of others.

Michael Useem is director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Follow Senior Editor Kim S. Nash on Twitter: @knash99.


 

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