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I mentioned that Jim Collins' research concluded that the 'Level 5' leaders who took their organisations from 'good to great' all had 'Fierce Resolve'. Here's one example:

George Cain became CEO of Abbott Laboratories, it was a drowsy family-controlled business, sitting at the bottom quartile of the pharmaceutical industry, living off its cash cow, erythromycin. Cain was a typical Level 5 leader in his lack of pretence; he didn't have the kind of inspiring personality that would galvanise the company. But he had something much more powerful; inspired standards. He could not stand mediocrity in any form and was utterly intolerant of anyone who would accept the idea that good is good enough. For the next 14 years, he relentlessly imposed his will for greatness on Abbott Labs.

And Larry Bossidy writes of Emotional Fortitude:

Everyone pays lip service to the idea that leading an organization requires strength of character. In execution it's absolutely critical. Without what we call Emotional Fortitude, you can't be honest with yourself, deal honestly with business and organisational realities or give people forthright assessments. You can't tolerate the diversity of viewpoints, and personal backgrounds that organisations need in their members in order to avoid becoming ingrown. If you can't do these things you can't execute.

There's more from him on the right.

It takes Emotional Fortitude to be open to whatever information you need whether it's what you like to hear or not. Emotional Fortitude gives you the courage to accept points of view that are the opposite of yours and deal with conflict, and the confidence to encourage and accept challenges in group settings.

It enables you to accept and deal with your own weaknesses, be firm with people who aren't performing, and to handle the ambiguity inherent in a fast moving, complex organization.

Emotional Fortitude comes from self-discovery and self-mastery. It is the foundation of people skills. Good leaders learn their specific personal strengths and weaknesses, especially in dealing with other people, then build on the strengths and correct the weaknesses. They earn their leadership when the followers see their inner strength, inner confidence, and ability to help team members deliver results, while at the same time expanding their own capabilities.
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