Marketing exec Jeffrey J. Fox doesn’t like the old saying that if you do what you love, success will follow. His view: “Take the job that offers you the most money. If you are in a
corporation, always take the transfer, promotion or assignment that
pays the most.” Sounds mercenary, until you hear Fox’s rationale:
Many a leader has crashed on the rocks of mergers and acquisitions.
That’s because the sirens’ call says that merging two corporate
cultures is the “soft stuff.” The hard truth, notes Susan Bowick, who retired last year as an
executive vice president at Hewlett- Packard (HP), is that “the soft
stuff is the hardest stuff.”
Before Bruce Springsteen became “The Boss,” Frank Sinatra was Il Padrone (“The Boss” in Italian). To Italian-Americans close to him, Sinatra became one of those guys known in Sicily as uomini rispettati,
or men of respect. Such leaders were both majestic and humble. They
would go out of their way to right a wrong. They’d see to things
personally. Villagers would kiss their hands.
Mocked as “a third-rate Western lawyer” and a “fourth-rate lecturer,”
Abraham Lincoln turned out to be a political genius: not because he
mastered politics but because of his emotional strengths:
Former Sunbeam Chairman and CEO Albert Dunlap thinks relying on consensus is a copout.
Everybody pays lip service to customer contact. Real leaders actually pick up the phone.
“I can’t get anybody here to work as hard as I do!” That’s a common complaint among managers.
Here’s another installment of the best advice that some of our nation’s top business leaders ever received:
Mackay Envelope Co. CEO Harvey Mackay built his empire by negotiating
strategic deals … with paper makers, printers, suppliers. Nearly
everything he built involved a deal. Here are Mackay’s six top rules for power dealing:
As you look back over the past few years, can you identify critical
projects that you thought about but never started? Can you justify your
inaction through lack of time or uncooperative colleagues? If so, you may have caved in to a simple lack of willpower, which two
authors of a new book identify as a common leadership problem.