Leadership: Wake Up Call - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Leadership: Wake Up Call


Pharmaceutical Executive


For my new book, The 100 Mile Walk: A Father and Son on a Quest to Find the Essence of Leadership (Amacom Books), my 30-something creative director son and co-author, Jonathon, and I walked one hundred miles discussing what it takes to lead. In talking to leaders, we identified a common trait: paranoia—the habit of a great leader to worry who is right behind her or approaching from a distance. My son, with his Eastern outlook, calls it "awareness," but either way, watching your back affords you competitive advantage. It's the nudge that causes faster change and advances risk taking; it's essential to staying ahead of the competition.

Where are we as a nation headed? Hopefully, our national predilection toward paranoia will find the proper subject matter to be paranoid about and cause our government leaders, with the help of our corporate ones, to do everything in their power to get the US educational system and workplace on the track of rapid technological and scientific innovation.

Sander A. Flaum is managing partner of Flaum Partners. He can be reached at


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