Executive Leadership

Nicknamed “The Father of Advertising,” David Ogilvy learned valuable lessons as a 20-year-old chef. At the time, Ogilvy had left college for a job as an apprentice chef at a prestigious Paris hotel. Ogilvy worked for the head chef, Monsieur Pitard, who ran a tight ship. When France’s president visited the hotel, Ogilvy was preparing frog legs in a white sauce when he noticed Pitard staring at him …

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When you ask for something that will advance your career, ask yourself these things first.

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Get the conversation going with three questions … Decelerate your life … Hoard ideas and deploy them at the right moment.

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In the late 1960s, Royal Dutch Shell hit a speed bump. The global oil giant suddenly struggled to forecast cash flows—a key element in budgeting and strategic planning. After a series of consultants failed to provide solutions, Shell looked internally for help. An eccentric manager named Pierre Wack stepped up.

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PayPal’s first product required the use of PalmPilots, which at the time were a global phenomenon. Millions of people around the world were hooked to their PalmPilots. Even though PayPal’s technology enabled PalmPilot users to beam money to each other, the product didn’t catch on. That’s because Peter Thiel and his team realized too late that they were pursuing a large, loosely knit market of customers with little in common.

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As a top executive at Merrill Lynch and TD Ameritrade, Joe Moglia’s employees viewed him as a supportive yet demanding boss who prodded them to excel. But Moglia gravitated to a career in finance only after abandoning a rewarding stint as a football coach. And then came the day when he decided to go back to the gridiron.

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Here are “five zeros” that will simplify your work.

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When leading a change campaign, there’s a sensible way you and your team can withstand forces beyond your control and keep advancing toward your goal.

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Here’s one of the most powerful tools to influence others’ behavior: Remember what they say.

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Some negotiators try to extract an extra concession at the last minute. If that happens, ask yourself, “Do I understand why they want this extra concession?”

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