Executive Leadership

Southwest Airlines has run a profitable airline for more than three decades. Here are its secrets:

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Starbucks founder and chairman Howard Schultz is his company’s most
passionate advocate. But his success goes beyond that, to how Schultz
uses his passion to do more than sell coffee. Take these three lessons to heart, and your employees and customers will, too.

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When he acquired high-end lawn mower manufacturer Snapper in 2002, CEO
Jim Wier’s lowest-priced machine sold for about $350. Because Wal-Mart
also sold six other kinds of mowers for less than $200, Wier decided to
pull the plug on his marketing deal with the giant retailer. But,
feeling that he owed an explanation, Wier headed to Arkansas to meet a
Wal-Mart VP.

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Mary Kay Ash was devastated after her husband died. But the cosmetics
queen had a big conference coming up, so she did what she’d always done
in the face of personal problems: She put on her best face, went out
and led her team.

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This psychological test of small business chiefs, called the Test of
Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS), also works with big
corporations, the military and Olympic athletes. See how you compare:

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The jazz composer and orchestra leader Duke Ellington was born only 34
years after the 1865 emancipation of slaves. His father worked first as
a butler at the White House and later as a blueprint maker for the U.S.
Navy.

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Paul McDermott moved up from a high-volume producer in commercial real estate to a vice president at Freddie Mac. Along the way to becoming an executive, he learned a most important lesson:

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Do you resemble a Roman or Greek leader?

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Ever hear of Internet time? It’s kind of like dog years: Each calendar year equals six Web years.

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Heed AFLAC CEO Daniel Amos, who credits his success to a very simple philosophy:

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