Executive Leadership

Mike Kelley lives on the island paradise of Maui, where he headed after
only a year of college on the mainland. He started by selling tanning
lotion by the pool. Now, he owns several companies that provide
recreation for tourists, as well as business and concierge services for
hotels. Kelley’s story proves that, to lead, you often have to take a leap of faith. Here’s how it happened:

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Golden opportunities are rare in business. They’re also hard to predict because they arise from random, unconnected events. That’s why practicing active waiting makes sense. Here’s what we mean:

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Before he became a World War II hero, Jimmy Doolittle flew across China as part of a promotional trip around the world. His little plane ran into its share of turbulence and other dangers,
but it wasn’t until Jimmy and his wife Joe reached the Dutch East
Indies that something other than his flying skills was tested.

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The new owner of several coal mine shafts in Harlan, Ky., was puzzled:
Should he heed the advice of the grizzled ex-miners he’d bought the
shafts from and embrace the new technology of open-pit mining, which a
new competitor had done? Or should he expand his current business by digging another shaft?

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Even though the concept of total quality management arose in America,
it was the Japanese who truly got it, and it’s now gaining in Korea. Americans have never fully learned the lessons of quality. Consider the fable of the tortoise and the hare.

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When an organization restructures, its new leaders come face to face with critical issues such as:

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You can learn some lessons by applying evolution theories to business:
theories such as the Red Queen Principle and “punctuated equilibrium,”
which offer glimpses into the future.

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Do you worry needlessly? Probably. Here’s an authoritative estimate of what most people worry about:

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After American colonists beat the British on Dec. 26, 1776, in Trenton,
N.J., Gen. George Washington convened his troops and asked them to
re-enlist. On the heels of such a victory, Washington expected a positive
response. But as he stood there and the drum rolled, not a single
soldier stepped forward to sign up for another stint. Washington began to improvise.

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These four tips have helped Microsoft manager Josh Ledgard move on down the road to leadership:

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