Executive Leadership

Here is an abbreviated version of five practices that lay out the leader’s path:

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Tracy Rode always tries hard to comply with a client’s need for speed,
even if it means unrealistic deadlines under near-impossible
circumstances. Her particular challenge—and that of her company, Vision3 Interactive
in Nashville, Tenn.—is that online technology is evolving so fast that
it’s hard enough to keep up with technological advances without
over-the-top customer demands.

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Great leaders generally view fighting as a last resort. But most of them will fight, and fight furiously, once an adversary has pushed them to a point of no return. How do great leaders handle fighting, and how should you? Find some clues in the battle styles of these great presidents:

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Take two guys who’ve made it a big part of their “value proposition” to
hire military veterans, and you’ve got the basic leadership philosophy
at Home Depot. Vets are mature, disciplined leaders, says HR chief Dennis Donovan.

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At age 30, Dave Haynes has worked his way up from mowing lawns, driving
a bus and supervising water safety to become an international sales rep
for Federal Express. Now, he’s exploited his longtime status as a “grunt” in The Peon Book, a new guide for clueless bosses who forget what it’s like on the front lines. Haynes always thought business books “don’t ever give it to managers straight,” so, he wrote one himself. Some Peon highlights:

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Knowing when to persist and when to walk is one of the trickier
decisions leaders face. Samuel Massie had to do both during his career
as a leading American chemist.

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Your inspiring idea has already won over your head and heart. But will
it make it in the marketplace? Tip the balance in your favor by being
ready to answer these questions:

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How many leaders personally ride herd on training? Very few. Yet, Andy Grove, former president of Intel and now board chairman, says
supervising company training is one of the most important tasks any
leader can assume.

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Some leaders are overconfident in their own ideas and refuse to listen
to others. It’s a leadership trap many people fall into the higher they
rise. Here are some effective ways to avoid it:

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Lift the spirits of those who are having a bad day by tossing a few encouraging words their way.

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