Executive Leadership

Instead of handing out an agenda, start your next problem-solving
meeting by providing nothing more than information about the problem.
Then, watch how people process it.

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Here’s how an American up-and-comer trained for a senior management job at one of Toyota’s U.S. plants, and the four main lessons his training yielded:

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When you have to deliver bad news to your people, follow this protocol
that medical doctors use to tell patients about dire prognoses:

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Ralph Waldo Emerson is usually remembered as an American poet and philosopher, not a career-development expert. Yet, the philosophy of self-reliance that Emerson developed with his
friend Henry David Thoreau offers a blueprint for accomplishing
remarkable things in life.

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Growing up in Texas, the young Ross Perot had never seen a ship or an
ocean but knew he wanted to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis,
Md., because his scout leader had gone there. Perot’s buddies couldn’t understand why he was so determined (read: “stubborn”), but he’d made up his mind.

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Randy Nelson, dean of Pixar University, doesn’t like outsourcing, but
not for the reasons you might think. He’s not worried about job
security; his reasons are all about creativity.

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Most people think the key to being productive is working flat-out 100
percent of the time. Not so, says John Zenger, former chairman of the
Times Mirror Group.

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Gossip gets a bad rap, but it actually helps set norms and lets your
people feel as though they belong. In the process, they’ll also sort
out who’s trustworthy, talented and reliable, and who’s not. So, recognize the power of social ties to sustain your people during crunch times. Here’s what you can do:

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Sam Cooke and “Little Richard” Penniman were about as different as two African-American pop singers could be. As fate would have it, they toured England
together back in the early 1960s. And, when Penniman’s insecurities threatened the tour, it was Cooke who stepped in—quietly—to keep things going.

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Asked if he has a favorite hero from the Bible, noted Holocaust researcher and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel names Moses. So, what are we supposed to learn from Moses?

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