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Executive Leadership

Dan Ariely, a psychology professor at Duke University, remembers the first time he was hired by attorneys to serve as an expert witness in a court case. A big law firm sought his help to explain its client’s behavior …

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Making a bad decision is bad enough. Just don’t dig yourself into a deeper hole. You’ll save time and headaches by avoiding what experts call “the escalation trap”—escalating your level of commitment to a lost cause.

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After decades at the top, some executives lose their bearings and come across as imperious. When you’re compensated well to run a large organization, as Gordon Gee was, it’s even more important to watch what you say.

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Apps for smartphones and tablets are making business easier. But wading through thousands of them? Not so much. Jeffrey Hayzlett, consultant and former chief marketing officer at Kodak, picks these 10.

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In the midst of the federal government shutdown, the law dictates that the President and members of Congress will continue to receive their pay, even as other federal workers must go without and merely hope for retroactive compensation.

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Amar Bose, a pioneer in acoustics and founder of a company noted for its portable speakers and headphones, died in July at age 83. Bose’s legacy at both his company and at MIT, where he worked on the faculty for 40 years, was that of a teacher.

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In 1991, Jerry Sternin headed to Vietnam. His goal: to fight child malnutrition in poor villages and produce results within six months. Sternin isolated the few people who were modeling problem-solving behavior when most of their peers were following negative patterns. He thus dis­­covered what the “positive deviants” (PD) did to produce such superior results.

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Aaron Jagdfeld runs a fast-growing company with $1 billion in annual ­revenue. He’s president and CEO of ­Generac Holdings, a maker of automatic standby generators based in Waukesha, Wis. Jagdfeld joined Generac in 1994 and became its chief executive in 2008, starting with a blank slate to shape the company’s culture.

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Employees need to trust you as their leader if they’re going to outperform as a team. They must believe you’ll put their interests ahead of your own.

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Matt Labrum, football coach at Union High in Roosevelt, Utah, recently suspended his entire team until further notice.

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