Executive Leadership

Learn to love neurotics .. Fear no one … Find those creative types.

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Why do some large organizations still in­­novate like startups, while others get mired in bureaucracy? A multiyear ­McKinsey study shows that leaders at pioneering companies exhibit these traits.

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From 1982 to 1987, John Hewitt joined forces with Mel Jackson to provide tax-preparation services in southern Virginia. By 1988, they decided to expand into North Carolina. They soon learned that they couldn’t keep the name of their firm, Mel Jackson Tax Service, because a tax firm with a similar name already existed in North Carolina. This didn’t sit well with John Hewitt, the company’s owner …

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Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Air Lines, applies certain rules to each work­­day. He attributes his success largely to his ability to follow these rules to operate more productively, gain insight and make smarter decisions.

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Doris Hart won three Wimbledon titles on one day in 1951: singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. But her greatest feat may have been competing in tennis at all.

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In 2000, Julio Linares became CEO of Spain’s dominant telecom company, Telefónica de España. With the com­pany’s earnings and cash flow in a deep dive, he knew he needed to implement changes immediately.

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#2, based on a study of nearly 400 organizations, is strategic thinking. So #1 is…?

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As a young pharmaceutical salesman, James LeVoy Sorenson spent many hours watching physicians make their rounds in hospitals. His careful observation led him to develop a range of tools they could use to save time and provide better results for patients.

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Here’s the challenge for anyone trying to work more productively: Many supposedly smart, timesaving tips can backfire.

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An Enneagram, which dates back at least 2,000 years, derives from the Greek words “ennea,” or nine, and “gram,” something written or drawn. It refers to nine points on the circumference of a circle that correspond to nine styles you can develop as a leader.

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