Executive Leadership

After three years as head writer for Saturday Night Live, Adam McKay was ready to quit in 2000. But before leaving SNL, McKay took his agent’s advice and ap­­proached Lorne Michaels with a series of de­­mands he’d need fulfilled to stay put. Employing the “least-interest” principle worked for him beautifully.

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As leaders in most any line of work will tell you, becoming a leader is mainly about what’s in your head, not in your physical prowess or material advantages. Mariano Rivera is a good example.

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Would-be leaders can limit their effectiveness by clinging to self-defeating actions and attitudes. In your rush to succeed, it’s easy to overreach and alienate potential allies. Avoid these four common traps to strengthen your ability to lead over the long term.

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Annual reviews have been drawing fire lately. Here’s how to make them better.

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Malcom McLean didn’t like to waste time, but in 1937, he had to spend most of a day waiting for his truckload of cotton to be loaded onto a ship in Hoboken, N.J. It gave him a bold idea. He saw what needed to be done to streamline shipping—but it would take him 20 years to make it happen.

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Leaders master the art of promoting themselves without going overboard. They don’t come right out and boast. Instead, they drop hints and refer to their experiences in an engaging way that prompts two-way conversation.

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How can you hire people with a great attitude? Start by discovering what motivates them. Identify what they value and tailor the job accordingly.

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To keep your people and products in the lead spot, think the way an investor would in scrutinizing the value proposition of your company. Sound hard? It’s easy. Take these three steps.

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Doug Leone channeled his fear and anger into ambition.

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Because introverts and extroverts learn differently, customize your training strategy. A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works for everyone.

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