Executive Leadership

Even after years of making tough decisions, New York Jets head coach
Herman Edwards still finds cutting players from the team one of his
most difficult responsibilities. Edwards—who played in the NFL for 10 years before entering the coaching
ranks—learned a lesson years back, when he was cut from the
Philadelphia Eagles.

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You and new Chief Justice John Roberts could probably both learn a lot
from the long history of what it takes to lead the U.S. Supreme Court …
or any team of unusually independent prima donnas, for that matter.

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All the leaders at your organization need to make good decisions. But
they also need to adopt a “performance anatomy” that puts those
decisions into action. That means being adept at five critical tasks:

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Both the New Orleans levee break after Hurricane Katrina and the
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 were predictable surprises. That is, they
were disasters that could have been prevented. Here are the
traits of predictable surprises (with Sept. 11 and Katrina examples),
and the steps you can take to keep them from happening:

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Sure, leaders are steady and dependable. But they also know the power of doing surprising things when their gut tells them to. Some unexpected actions that yield results:

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If leadership were a stool, here are the four legs Huntsman Chemical Co. Founder Jon Huntsman says would support it:

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Use this checklist to recover from a failure and keep moving forward:

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Many people confuse leaders’ confidence with self-confidence. In fact, what’s important about leaders is whether they have confidence in other people. Here are Harvard business professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s three cornerstones of confidence:

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Ideas are a dime a dozen. Leading a business requires creating insights: the kind of underlying concepts that launch a thousand ideas. Take the New York Miracle, an advertising insight ginned up by Phil
Dusenberry and his ad team at BBDO to bring people back to New York
City after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

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On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln took the oath for his first term as
president. A little more than a month later—on April 12—the Civil War
erupted when Confederates attacked Fort Sumter, S.C. Lincoln responded by resupplying and strengthening the fort: an approach that most of his Cabinet members staunchly opposed.

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