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I read an interesting article on Forbes.com today on leadership and the one, single trait, that can make or break a leader. Mike Mayatt, in his article in Forbes Magazine (http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2011/12/19/this-one-leadership-quality-will-make-or-break-you/) makes the point, “Leadership is pursuit — pursuit of excellence, of elegance, of truth, of what’s next, of what if, of change, of value, of results, of relationships, of service, of knowledge, and of something bigger than themselves.” Thought provoking really. I love the almost simplification of this huge quality that an individual can have. When you really think about it and you really boil down to what makes a leader successful, it is indeed pursuit, plain and simple.

What does this mean? Basically, Good leaders intentionally pursue recent and relevant information and ideas. Failure to do so produces mediocrity. Failure to pursue the right things produces obsolescence and a leader who has generally missed the boat. Knowing what to pursue and when to pursue it will give you a jump on your competition.

My favorite quote of the article: “A failure to embrace pursuit is to cede opportunity to others.”

Very interesting thoughts – – – I wonder what I’m pursuing that doesn’t fit my end goal? What are you pursuing?

Another of my favorite thoughts in this article: “Pursue discovery, seek dissenting opinions, develop your ability unlearn by embracing how much you don’t know, and find the kind of vision that truly does see around corners.” I’d sure love to see around corners!

Mike Myatt, Contributor
Leadership advisor to CEOs & Boards, and author of Leadership Matters
This One Leadership Quality Will Make or Break You (Leadership, December 19, 2011)

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