Executive Leadership

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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Funny, but the very same skills that leaders find most important for
leadership— communicating and listening (43 percent)—they also consider
their biggest shortcomings. At least according to a new survey.

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“Whole” leaders balance head, heart and guts, while “partial” leaders
lag in one or two qualities. Here’s a series of questions to determine
if you or your organization are balanced, along with adjustments you
can make:

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You may not want to think about this, but the sooner you figure out your own succession plan, the better. “Leaders don’t go soon enough,” says Gary Erickson, founder of Clif Bar, the $100 million maker of energy bars.

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In the brave new world of excess supply, your customer is king. So says Peter Georgescu, former chairman of communications firm Young & Rubicam.

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