Executive Leadership

Robert Crandall headed engineering and manufacturing at Eastman Kodak
during the “copier wars” with Xerox back in the 1970s. He faced two
problems:

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Most business leaders would rather pay a celebrity $1,000 a minute for
a “motivational” talk than bring in somebody who’d actually provide
hands-on, tactical training, says Steve Salerno, author of SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless.

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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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