Executive Leadership

When people band together to achieve an ambitious goal, it can heighten everyone’s sense of camaraderie. That’s what happened in Seattle in the lead-up to the Seahawks’ Super Bowl win in 2014.

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It would be easy to explain NBA start Kevin Durant’s greatness as a combination of athleticism and practice. But what else has played a huge part?

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Papa John’s founder John Schnatter started a gutter-painting company when he was 12 years old at the home of his grandfather and mentor. A decade later, he launched what would become the nation’s third-largest pizza chain.

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During Alyson Pitman Giles’ 13 years at the helm of Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, N.H., the hospital’s finances reversed course. By the time she left in 2012, its operating margin exceeded $3 million. But her success did not come without turmoil.

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A CEO cannot play referee to resolve every internal dispute. But leaders need a strategy to address employee complaints about each other.

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Do you have too much money in­­vested in low-priority items? Execu­­tives say low-priority initiatives get too much funding, cost-cutting isn’t strategic and budgeting isn’t tightly aligned with strategic planning at their companies, according to research by Strategy&.

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As a top executive at Merrill Lynch and TD Ameritrade, Joe Moglia’s employees viewed him as a supportive yet demanding boss who prodded them to excel. But Moglia gravitated to a career in finance only after abandoning a rewarding stint as a football coach.

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Two critical functions must be fulfilled to make a senior leadership team work.

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Fight the urge to act for action’s sake … Learn a lesson from the unusual practice of blessing smartphones … Prod, poke, advocate.

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The Associated Press placed Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the top 10 athletes of the 20th century. “The formula for success is simple,” she said. “Practice and concentration, then more practice and more concentration.”

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