Executive Leadership

The CEO of King Digital Entertainment, Riccardo Zacconi, recently did what few other CEOs do when pressed to defend his company’s financial value: He urged people to simply try out what it makes.

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Anyone in leadership has to persuade somebody at some point. You may need to persuade an employee to perform better, or service providers to up their game. Here, in a thimble, are seven things persuasive people do.

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“Great leaders surround themselves with A+ people,” says Sander Flaum, chairman and CEO of Euro RSCG Becker. “Jack Welch [former CEO of General Electric] said the biggest mistake he ever made was not moving quickly enough on people who weren’t A+.”

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As president and chief executive of Tangerine—formerly ING Direct Canada—Peter Aceto could act like most big bank CEOs and cultivate an image of aloofness and power. But he does the reverse.

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When you’re stumped by a question that comes out of nowhere from a reporter, shareholder or staff member, use these responses.

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Marissa Mayer possesses many leader­­ship qualities. She’s bright, articulate and a self-professed computer geek who’s Yahoo’s president and chief executive. But Mayer, 38, has her share of personality flaws. While one or two weaknesses might be easy to overlook, former employees grumble about three hard-to-ignore failings.

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To train employees to acquire new skills, borrow the tools of top teachers. Research shows that certain pedagogical strategies help students retain information and apply what they learn more successfully.

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Unlike most of his peers, ­CEO Jeff Stibel decided to memorialize his failures in writing—and in doing so, learned valuable lessons.

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General Mills recently backtracked on wording it had added to its website that led many consumers to believe that by engaging in such routine acts as downloading coupons or engaging in the food giant’s online communities, they were waiving their right to ever sue the company.

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Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry grew up six blocks apart near Detroit. Still, it took them years to launch green soap company Method.

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