I assume you can name the three: Fiorello LaGuardia, Ed Koch and Michael Bloomberg.
One of the conclusions Bob Sutton draws about great bosses is that they think and act as if it's all about them. Their success, in short, depends on being fixated on themselves. Many of the great gurus and business leaders disagree. They'd say, as Jack Welch has written that "it's not about you." The spirit of their remarks is true. It'll keep them from becoming selfish and oblivious to their people.
But there's a different kind of self-obsession. When it's not actually for selfish reason, great bosses focus on controlling their emotions, on accurately interpreting their impact and on making adjustments on the fly. The result? Their people produce work that others will admire.
So how's this for leadership? I never doubted that I would be a good mayor,” said Ed Koch, with a self-satisfied smile. “I never did.”
It just proves there's something good about being egotistical. (Yeah, I know. That's the narrative fallacy.)
Flickr photo: Sendro Marino