Executive Leadership

Scott Cook, co-founder and chairman of Intuit, has built a huge company helping executives make decisions using his financial management software. Yet Cook frowns on financial forecasting. In fact, he requests that his employees avoid spending time forecasting the numbers relating to their unit’s sales and expenses.

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When an employee sends a long email with many points, don’t respond with OK—or, God forefend, TLDR.

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The baseball world was abuzz this summer about a new phenom, 13-year-old female Mo’Ne Davis, who pitched a shutout in August during the first round of the Little League World Series.

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Daniel Schwartz, 33, is one of the youngest chief executives of a major global enterprise. A former Wall Street analyst, he brought a cost-cutting mindset to Burger King.

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When Mattel hired Richard Dickson as general manager of its Barbie brand in 2008, the famous doll was in a lull. After hitting a high of $1.52 billion in ­Barbie sales in 2002, Mattel had struggled through a six-year decline. Dickson hit the ground running to put an end to “brand goulash.”

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This controversial approach to performance evaluation requires that supervisors group employees from top to bottom. The CEO of Nielsen Holdings remains a fan.

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Until recently, National Hockey League goalies were overwhelmingly Canadian. Then the Finns arrived around 2000. Seemingly overnight, 5 million Finns began producing one-sixth of the NHL’s starting goalies. Their secret is Urpo Ylönen, or “Upi,” a man spoken of the same way Jedi knights speak of Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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The story of the man CNBC named one of the worst American CEOs of all time teaches a lesson in how to conduct yourself with employees.

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At age 37, Magnus Norman has become one of the most widely admired coaches in tennis. “He did a great job with Robin Soderling and is doing an amazing job with me,” says Stan Wawrinka, who rose from second tier to Grand Slam champion this year and now ranks among the top five players in the world.

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You may be hiring the wrong way, says reputation management consultant Logan Chierotti. Your best bet may not be looking at résumés or cover letters.

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