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Executive Leadership

Before signing off from her blog earlier this year, Lisa Haneberg summed up her experience as a leader and author for 30 years.

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When Mattel hired Richard Dickson as general manager of its Barbie brand in 2008, the famous doll was in a lull. After hitting a high of $1.52 billion in ­Barbie sales in 2002, Mattel had struggled through a six-year decline. Dickson hit the ground running.

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Don’t give too much thought to the possibility that you might be fired. Plenty of successful people have gotten the sack.

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Many CEOs favor fact-based leadership. Rather than rely on their impressions or gut instinct, they tend to scrutinize facts and make decisions rooted in hard data. Alan Mulally, Ford Motor’s 68-year-old CEO, has stood out among leaders of American auto companies for his intense focus on numbers.

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As Apple’s new CEO in 1996, Gil ­Amelio sought to put his stamp on the famous computer maker. But he left a different kind of mark.

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An entrepreneur worth about $4 billion, John Paul DeJoria runs his business em­pire without a computer. The co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems fears that a computer would stymie his productivity because he’d always be buried in emails.

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In late 2008, Domino’s market share was plummeting. Instead of blaming collapsing sales on the nation’s economic downturn, executives chose a surprising strategy: They admitted their main product—pizza—wasn’t very good.

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Derek Stevens, CEO of the D Las Vegas Casino Hotel and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, announced recently that these properties will be the first of their kind in Vegas to accept the Bitcoin, the digital currency that is not distributed by traditional banks. The casinos aren’t quite ready to take Bitcoins on the gambling floor, but they’ll be accepted at the front desk and in the adjoining restaurants and gift shop.

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Once upon a time, there was a sports hero. He was admired by all. Then he lied.

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With the passing of actor Andy Griffith in 2012, his most famous TV character, Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, is worth another look for his low-key brand of leadership. Here are a few of the sheriff’s lessons on caring more and fussing less.

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