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Following the Leader

Learn these laws, and employees won't be far behind you.

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This story appears in the July 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The day before an important presentation, the employee responsible for it says he can't do it because he has to go Halloween trick-or-treating with his kids. No one else, including you, knows the material well enough to do the presentation. What do you do? Read "The Law of Personal Commitment," one of 50 principles in The Feiner Points of Leadership (Warner Books, $25) by Michael Feiner, a longtime PepsiCo. executive and now a professor at Columbia Graduate School of Business in New York City.

When this happened at PepsiCo., Feiner gave the employee time off and crammed enough to deliver the presentation himself, teaching the employee that he was as committed to the employee as he expected the employee to be to the company. The employee took the lesson to heart, Feiner writes, and over the next 11 years demonstrated "incredible" loyalty and commitment to his boss and his company.

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