Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch was a very popular political figure (and remains so) for many reasons, but not the least of these were his warmth and openness. Nowhere was this more clearly demonstrated than in what became his defining catchphrase: “How am I doing?”

Koch didn’t just ask this of a few people on a few occasions. It seemed that he would use any excuse to publicly ask about his status, then listen to people praise or revile his performance as New York’s CEO. As a result, he built a lot of good will and—at least in the opinion of some (including me)—was a most effective leader.

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