- October 2011: Vol. 23 No. 9

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Shop Talk: A Conversation with Michael Useem


In his new book, The Leader’s Checklist, Michael Useem, management professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, presents a collection of 15 principles that can help leaders navigate successfully through even the most difficult circumstances. Using such milestone events as the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners in 2010, the collapse of AIG in 2008 and the surrender of the Confederate army at Appomattox in 1865, Useem illustrates the difference between good and bad leadership, and how to achieve one’s own personal leadership success. The Leader’s Checklistis the first e-book published by Wharton Digital Press.

Useem, who is director of Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management, spoke with Knowledge@Wharton about his book. Below is an edited transcript of the conversation.

Mike, you have written several books on leadership. What was the inspiration for

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