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Quiet leadership based on integrity trumps an iron fist

The Communicator

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'What is your sense of purpose? Does your name mean something to you? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Asking these kinds of questions can help you determine what you stand for as a leader' (stock photo)

'What is your sense of purpose? Does your name mean something to you? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Asking these kinds of questions can help you determine what you stand for as a leader' (stock photo)

'What is your sense of purpose? Does your name mean something to you? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Asking these kinds of questions can help you determine what you stand for as a leader' (stock photo)

I was in a hotel conference room working with nearly a dozen top executives from a variety of companies. We were discussing the various behaviours, attributes and communication strategies that leaders can purposefully deploy to better motivate and engage their employees.

One of the participants looked up for a moment from his workbook and remarked, almost casually: "I don't feel like a leader."

After the workshop, I called over to Clarke Facades, a company that has steadily grown from a plaster and flooring business when Michael Clarke founded it in the 1980s, to an innovative engineering organisation now headed by eldest son Eugene - the very same person who mentioned he did not feel like a leader. I asked to talk to him.