Executive Leadership

Illinois Budget Director John Filan was appointed in 2003 to whack back
the state’s $5 billion budget shortfall, and he’s done it without raising broad-based taxes. Instead, he shrank the number of state agencies by nearly a third, from
66 to 46, holding the number of state employees at 1970s levels. The
operational cost of government has gone down, while education grants
have gone up, and the state consolidated 22 data centers to five.

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In an annual review of 2004′s dumbest moments in business, these fine leaders came out on top:

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Leaders have tremendous
power to inspire and encourage, but some techniques actually undermine
performance. Here’s Samuel Spitalli’s list of 10 no-nos:

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Jim Collins studied 11 high-performing companies while writing his best-seller, Good to Great. He observed that great leaders boil down complex issues into action steps by asking these three questions:

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Apply these two gems of negotiating wisdom from a classic source:

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Even liberals may come to regard the late William Rehnquist as one of the best U.S. Supreme Court chief justices of the century. Reasons: His moderation and efficiency, his fairness and good nature helped him get along with ideological opponents.

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Brush up business-theory basics—from Gantt Charts to Maslow’s Hierarchy.

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Encourage learning and build creativity by explaining the results you’re looking for.

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Protect your laptop at the airport.

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Fear of sexual-harassment suits have forced many American leaders to stop touching people. Yet,
some top executives, including Jack Welch, still include a pat on the
shoulder or a warmer-than-usual handshake among their leadership tools. Here’s how to use the power of touch:

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