Stories and lessons from the struggle and success of those who have realized their entrepreneurial dreams whether as first timers or veterans.

Keith, CEO of a Fortune 500 financial organization, called with an intriguing project—one I’ve never been asked to repeat elsewhere, but one with fascinating results.

The Project

The CEO wanted to know how much I could discover about a person’s leadership style from their writing. “I don’t know; I’ve never had occasion to test my theories,” I told him, quite reluctant to take on what already sounded like an oddball way to lose a good client. He listened as I pointed out that someone might be a great leader, but just an incompetent writer and vice versa—how they might be an eloquent writer, but a lousy leader.

the ceo magazine, business growth,

We most often use the term “one hit wonder” to describe music performers who have had a single success. Sometimes these one-hit wonders produced novelty songs such as Jeannie C. Riley’s 1968 number-one hit “Harper Valley PTA.” In spite of the song gracing the charts in the 60s, hardly anyone today would admit to thinking the hit represented true quality. And since Ms. Riley never produced another top-seller, we can also agree she didn’t offer consistency.

Granted, leaders gain visibility for their message by speaking at a major industry event, international conference, or even a local community affair. But just as with movies, games, and apps, leaders increase their popularity and influence to a tipping point when employees share their opinions of that leader with their colleagues.

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