Executive Leadership

If it ain’t broke, blow it up. That’s the legacy that General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt inherited … so that’s what he’s doing.

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Leaders can say a lot about how much they value their people by undertaking some physical act of labor.

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Dan Wieden launched his advertising career in the basement of a union hall in Portland, Ore., with nothing more than a pay phone and a borrowed typewriter, on which he tapped out a slogan: “Just do it.”

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Negative team members are like poison. Left unchecked, they corrode morale through the ranks. They can take many forms, including:

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Alexander the Great became one of the most accomplished generals in history, creating a huge empire through a mix of intelligence, humanity and courage.

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The notion that people could fly remained the gold standard of impossibility right up until the Wright brothers actually did it.

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Do people pitch ideas to you that they think they want you to hear? Or do they present ideas they really want to put into practice?

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In fighting a war, U.S. generals apply the following strategies, which will serve you well, too, when things simply must not go wrong:

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Oracle founder and chief executive Larry Ellison is a classic narcissistic leader, reminiscent of both the robber barons of the 19th century, who created industries in their own image, and Genghis Khan, who said: “It is not sufficient that I succeed. Everyone else must fail.”

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If you think leaders never make mistakes, consider these stories:

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