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Leadership Lessons From the Unlikeliest of Places

It seems that everyone is writing 'leadership lessons' these days. Particularly when it comes to popular shows, movies, athletes, actors and characters, there's something that can be gleaned from every leading role.

Fortune alone offers leadership tips from House of Cards, Survivor and Fifty Shades of Grey. Inc. is offering leadership lessons from spring training, HuffPo has published 5 leadership lessons from musicians and Fast Company provides 7 lessons in leadership and innovation from top tech CEOs.

Thanks to the internet, CEOs apparently no longer need training, mentors or an education, but simply the ability to type in the search box and hit ‘enter’.

Here, in our opinion, are the best lessons of the bunch.

1. Treat your subordinates with respect. There’s a popular wisdom making the rounds that says ‘the people you meet on the way up are the same people you will meet on the way down’. Remember to treat everyone with respect and dignity because you never know when you or your opponent will change positions. (House of Cards)

2. No employee can be easily labeled as one thing. He’s a geek. What does he know about the needs of the customer? She’s a tough boss. He’s in accounting, what would he know about innovation? Never underestimate your team. Give everyone a chance, and you often learn more by doing more listening than talking. (Survivor)

3.  Leaders should learn “informed improvisation.” Things don’t always go as planned. Being able to improvise, adapt and be flexible can help a CEO make quick decisions in tough situations. As the article notes, however, improvisation is not simply making it up as you go along. It’s the result of years and years and years of training and experience. So don’t be afraid to improvise. You can handle it. (Musicians)

4. Be passionate. “A passionate leader can recruit equally passionate team members, raise capital from driven investors, and keep their teams willing and able to put in the long hours necessary to build a successful company,” this author writes. (Fifty Shades)

5. Embrace your crazy ideas. “When no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition,” Google’s Larry Page said in a 2005 commencement speech. “Have confidence, fail often, [and] have a healthy disregard for the impossible.” (Tech CEOs)

Do you have a favorite leadership lesson? Tell us about in the comment section below. 


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