Executive Leadership

Tom Peters loves employees who interrupt their bosses. He loves students who raise their hands at the “wrong” time. That’s because the management guru believes no assumption should go
unchallenged and no strange idea should be dismissed or ignored. He
praises leaders who have the guts to hire deviants and challenge the
status quo.

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In his methodical way, Arthur Berchin loves to win. As coach of this year’s academic decathlon team at William Howard Taft
High School in Woodland Hills, Calif., Berchin in April led the school
to its third national title. Here’s how Berchin does it:

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Thanks to breakthroughs in neuroscience, we can better understand how the brain works … and help your team outgrow bad habits.

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Upton Sinclair, best known for his muckraking books The Jungle and Oil!,
had such a winning personality that he ran for governor of California
in 1934. But it soon became apparent that what made “Uppy” a great man
did not make him a great candidate for the Democratic Party.

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Job-title inflation has been around for a long time, but it took off
during the dot-com boom, when companies handed out titles instead of
cash. Now, apparently, we’ve reached the point where “overtitling” has
led to inequities and overcompensation. But beware the solution hit on by Employco, an HR consulting firm and
insurance company in Illinois that decided it had to overhaul its job
titles, down-titling six senior staffers.

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You can learn vital leadership lessons from King Solomon, still considered one of the wisest men who ever lived. Here’s a sampling of Solomon’s advice:

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Say you have seven direct-reports. Each one signs on to meet three
important, attainable goals every quarter. If they hit their targets,
four quarters will produce 84 major achievements.

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John F. Kennedy had many advantages when he first ran for elected office in 1946, including money, charm, wit and good looks. But Kennedy also decided to buck the status quo. His approach raised him to national prominence.

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Figure out your “center” as a leader, by answering these questions:

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In 1992, Mike Schwartz walked into a Harley-Davidson dealership in
Delaware … and learned that he’d have to wait a year and half for his
bike. Convinced that he could do better, Schwartz told his wife: “I’m going to buy that place.” She knew he meant it.

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