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Mirror, Mirror

What kind of image do you project to your staff?

This story appears in the November 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Would you work for an arrogant and cold boss who aloofly keeps his or her distance? Of course not--and neither will your employees, at least not for long, and never at top effectiveness.

Are you that boss? Don't be too quick to scoff. "Most entrepreneurs dramatically overestimate their people skills," says Frank Shipper, a business professor at Salisbury State University in Salisbury, Maryland. That overconfidence can be a fatal business flaw. "The entrepreneurs who get ahead are those with good people skills. But many falter due to simple, people-related issues," warns Shipper, whose research pinpoints arrogance and coldness as common problems. "People skills are much more important than most of us realize."

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