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In the aftermath of the US presidential election, the constituent parts of what makes a great leader are, literally, a matter of popular debate. A common theme is what messages the different styles of leadership displayed send to others. But even in the workplace, we will consciously, and unconsciously, model how we lead on examples of leadership we have seen: whether that’s positive or negative. Negative experiences can have a strong effect in demonstrating leadership traits that we will try and avoid! Role models can also positively reinforce that leadership is a path that is open to us; a challenge in creating more diverse leadership can be a lack of identifiable role models: “You can’t be what you can’t see,” said American Civil Rights activist, Marian Wright Edelman.

As part of the research process for the forthcoming Global Leaders in Law Leading with Influence report, in association with Morrison & Foerster, 31 general counsel from around the world were interviewed on leadership. But who do they admire as leaders?

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