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15 High-Quality Companies With Exceptional Leadership

These wide-moat firms all earn Exemplary stewardship ratings and trade in 4- and 5-star range.

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Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin spoke at the 2019 Morningstar Investment Conference. Her topic--which is also the focus of one of her books--was leadership in turbulent times. Specifically, the Pulitzer Prize winner examined leadership as it related to four U.S. presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

These legends took different paths to reach the pinnacle of political leadership, says Goodwin. Further, their unique approaches fit the historical moment during which they led, just as a key fits a lock. She writes: "While there is neither a master key to leadership nor a common lock of historical circumstance, we can detect a certain family resemblance of leadership traits as we trace the alignment of leadership capacity within its historical context." Similarly, at Morningstar we'd argue that great corporate leaders can take many different paths to get where they are. But there are a few things that, for us at Morningstar, define great corporate leadership.

Susan Dziubinski does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.