Executive Leadership

During nearly 5½ years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, Lee Ellis relied on his sense of humor to keep him going. But it took his first three months in captivity for him to recapture his ability to laugh. Then 24, Ellis recalls the first time he flashed his humor as a POW.

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Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, likes to introduce himself as the com­pany’s customer service representative. He’s part joking, but his point is clear. By focusing on serving customers, Newmark preserves his brand.

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Your body language can work for or against you. By striking a pose that makes you look confident, you actually gain confidence. Adopting a “power pose” may even enhance your performance.

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Everybody seems to hate them, but performance reviews have been around since at least the Wei Dynasty in third-century China, which used an “imperial rater.” Yet at least one firm has gone ahead and ditched them.

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Kat Cole … Hubert Joly … Jonah Peretti. These are some of the 25 names you need to know if you’re serious about getting in step with today’s thought leaders in business.

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Early on, John Woolard decided to make energy conservation turn a profit. By his early 20s, he was asking himself: “What do you do with your life? How do you make it meaningful?” Several experiences shaped his course.

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Traveling emergency room doctor Mary Palmer believes that when the stakes are high, leaders have a “teachable moment” because people listen more intently.

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It’s never easy to confront an employee whose performance is slipping or simply not up to par. Here are six ways to prep yourself for confronting an underachiever.

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Leaders of large organizations cannot meet regularly with every employee to reinforce important points. So a CEO needs to take creative steps to communicate to a far-flung workforce. At Chipotle, the burrito chain, founder and co-CEO Steve Ells sends messages through multiple channels.

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Many leaders measure their success on how well they get people to like them. They view their staff as customers—and take steps to curry favor with them. Colin Powell rejects that approach.

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