Executive Leadership

Over Labor Day weekend, Frank Blake could finally relax. After seven hard-charging years as CEO of Home Depot, he had announced in August 2014 that he’d retire and his chosen successor, Craig Menear, would take over as CEO on Nov. 1. But on Tuesday morning, Blake was stunned to learn that Home Depot’s computers had been hacked …

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Many organizations give employees a specified number of annual paid days off—perhaps 10 or 15—in addition to a handful of federal holidays. Bart Lorang felt that wasn’t enough.

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In 2004, Lego was losing roughly $1 million a day. The once-legendary Danish toy maker was on the brink of collapse. It hired a new CEO, Jorgen Vig Knud­­storp, who quickly drew two conclusions: The company needed to cut costs dramatically and start delivering products that customers actually wanted.

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Asked how to prepare for a football playoff, coach Craig Bohl recommends adopting a mindset he calls “one-and-done.” Bohl won his third consecutive FCS (NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision) national title when his North Dakota State team won its division in 2013. That makes Bohl, now the coach at Wyoming, college football’s leading expert on playoffs.

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For years, Chris McCormack viewed Mike Tyson as a better boxer than Muhammad Ali. McCormack is a triathlete, two-time winner of the Ironman World Championship and a boxing fan. She admired Tyson’s savage force in the ring. But McCormack reassessed her opinion after a friend urged her to study Ali’s career.

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CEOs at big corporations often let their marketing managers make local sponsorship deals. A company might wind up supporting Little League teams, arts festivals and other community events. David D’Alessandro rejects that approach. When he was CEO of John Hancock Financial Services from 2000 to 2004, he adopted a “go big or go home” philosophy.

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Remember the old saw that 90% of success is just showing up? Well, it’s proven once again by a Chicago Bulls basketball player who denied himself cable and Internet so he could focus on training in the off-season.

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Steer clear of flabby, businessy words with little meaning. Here are a bunch.

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When Jay Gould joined American Standard in 2012 as CEO, he faced a liquidity crisis. Draining cash, the once-venerable plumbing company was on the brink of collapse. The company’s 5,500 employees had gotten used to layoffs, and there was little reason to believe more weren’t coming. Gould needed a way to boost morale, and he found it.

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The travel editor for CBS News logs about 400,000 air miles a year, and he has this advice: Most travel rules and policies are misguided. Here’s a sampling.

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