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Learning the Science of Leading. Dr. Elias Zerhouni discusses his goals as director of the National Institutes of Health and his views on the agency as the nation’s premier center for biomedical research. By Denise Grady. [New York Times: Science]
Q. What does it take to be a leader?
A. I think there are three things. First you have to have a big heart. Because if you don’t have a big heart you will never be able to lead. And a big heart means several things to me. You have to have a passion. You have to believe in some things that are your core values.
The second is you have to have a spine, which means stand up for what you think and take the risks that you think are important. And third and least important is brains. People often think that high intelligence is a prerequisite. I don’t believe so. I think a big heart and a strong spine are more important than high intelligence.

True for political leaders, as well as scientific and business leaders…