Executive Leadership

Top leaders connect with others easily, emphasizing shared interests and minimizing resistance. Try these techniques to communicate better with colleagues.

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Wayne Goldberg knows the hotel business. He’s president and CEO of La Quinta Holdings, a Texas-based chain with roughly 7,000 employees. “I make it clear when speaking to our hourly employees that I’ve been an hourly employee,” he says. “I’ve been a maintenance person, I’ve worked in the laundry. There isn’t a job I haven’t done.”

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Here’s a sampler from 35 questions leaders should ask themselves and their teams.

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Time doesn’t organize itself. That’s your job. To squeeze the most out of every minute, scrutinize your workday. Follow these guidelines.

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Leaders don’t shy away from filling a need simply because they don’t know precisely how they’ll do it.  Part of leadership is figuring out how.

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Fewer than 10% of executive leaders are pleased with how they spend their time. The rest fall down in four ways.

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Years ago, Steve McClatchy worked at a company that put him in charge of getting everyone to show up on time for a weekly meeting. His job was to set the agenda, lead the meeting and assign project teams. But there was one problem: Few treated the meetings seriously …

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In 2004, Lego was losing roughly $1 million a day. The once-legendary Danish toy maker was on the brink of collapse. It hired a new CEO, Jorgen Vig Knud­­storp, who quickly drew two conclusions: the company needed to cut costs dramatically and start delivering products that customers actually wanted.

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In 1962, editors at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists judged that the world was perilously close to a nuclear holocaust. It was at this moment that physicist Freeman Dyson, a visionary in math to medicine, weighed in on bomb shelters …

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Spanish clothing retailer Zara pioneered a model in which functions have become quicker and more centralized, while decision-making happens on the front lines.

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