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Leadership Qualities

Advanced Level Reading Comprehension


There are many qualities that shape a successful leader. Consequently, there is no single recipe for guaranteeing top management skills. If there were, there wouldn't be so few truly international success stories. Obviously, a great decision-maker possess the ability to inspire his employees. A charismatic boss can motivate employees to give that added-extra that puts a company over the top. This leader is energetic while at the same time being thoughtful when it comes to important, strategy-changing decisions. This of course does not mean that balanced leader is without his impulsive side. In fact, it is exactly this adventurous spirit that separates true genius from run-of-the-mill management. Take Bill Gates for example, if he hadn't left Harvard University before graduation he might never have become the stellar public figure that he is today. His ruthlessness, combined with a passionate conviction has made him the envy of many an industry captain today. Many would say that Apple's Steve Jobs was taken advantage of. While this may be true in a certain sense, if Gates had decided to become a hardware manufacturer, as well as a software pioneer, as was the case with Jobs, he probably wouldn't have had his past resounding success with Microsoft software products. Nowadays, however, the tables have turned with Steve Jobs leading Apple to incredible successes in both hardware and software developments for the computer, as well as innovative mobile phones and tablets. The lesson to be learned is that leadership can make the difference between a good company and a great company.

Keywords / New Vocabulary

recipe for guaranteeing something = standard way of doing something that makes sure it will succeed
decision-maker = person who is responsible for decisions in a company
to inspire / to motivate = to encourage in a positive way
run-of-the-mill = normal, usual, nothing special
stellar = having the quality of a star
industry captain = an extremely successful CEO, director, etc.
to turn the tables = change positions with someone

True or False

  • Most leaders have the same sort of qualities.
  • The ability to inspire employees is often seen in top management.
  • A charismatic boss can motivate employees to give an extra push.
  • Most run-of-the-mill managers are adventurous.
  • Both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have been extremely successful.

Check your answers on the following page.

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