John W. Gardner on Team Leadership

Team leadership enhances the possibility that different styles of leadership — and different skills — can be brought to bear simultaneously. If the leader is a visionary with little talent for practical steps, a team member who is a naturally gifted agenda-setter can provide priceless support. The important thing is not that the leader cover all bases but that the team collectively do so.

The best leader is one who ensures that the appropriate talent and scale are built into the team. Every president since Truman has admired the spunky, plain-spoken person from Missouri. I suspect it appeals to them that a person so battered by criticism while in office could be so well treated my history, but I have not known one of them who, in praising Truman, mentions one of his greatest qualities — his gift for surrounding himself with individuals of exceptional ability. —John W. Gardner, On Leadership p. 180

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