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Kathryn Kolbert

Kathryn Kolbert

Kathryn Kolbert, a public-interest attorney and journalist, is the Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, an interdisciplinary center devoted to the theory and practice of women's leadership.

Turning obsession into championships

Q: George Steinbrenner violated just about every rule of the leadership handbook, yet he brought tremendous success to the NY Yankees, both on and off the field. What does this say about the conventional wisdom on leadership?

The problem with conventional wisdom is that it is conventional. Despite his harshness and lack of subtlety, Steinbrenner possessed one of the key attributes of successful people, he was absolutely obsessed with his business, working 24/7 to make the Yankees a winner and expecting everyone else to do the same.

He was also able to translate his obsessions into revenue which gave him a great leg up on making is dream for the Yankees a reality. While I am at heart a Phillies fan, I have grudging respect for how Steinbrenner built his team into a winner. And to the New York fans and the players with world series rings...niceness in the front office is highly overrated.

By Kathryn Kolbert

 |  July 16, 2010; 10:37 AM ET
Category:  Accomplishing Goals Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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