Profiles in Leadership

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Pressed to the limits by his workload, Stephen Shapiro analyzed all the activities on his plate and found only a small percentage of them truly mattered. Within two weeks, he had re­­duced his weekly work hours from 110 to 20. What can be learned from this speaker and consultant's example?
Oscar Niemeyer, one of the world’s most prominent modern architects, is re­­nowned for his light, airy and fanciful structures. Famous for designing the capital city of Brasília, and for collaborating with Le Corbusier on the United Nations headquarters in New York, Niemeyer was a pioneer who needed to escape the clutches of fascism to continue his work.

She started her career in journalism by rebuking a columnist in the Pittsburgh Dispatch who called working women “a monstrosity.” Her fiery rebuttal impressed the editor. Hired under a pen name, she produced investigative articles about terrible conditions for female factory workers. In 1887, Bly talked her way into an assignment to get herself committed to an asylum so she could report on conditions there.

Today, many people see Bill Gates as a globetrotting humanitarian. But in the 1980s, he was a headstrong entrepreneur. An incident involving company co-founder Paul Allen, a race to catch a flight, and an ill-advised attempt to spontaneously learn jetway mechanics demonstrates what made him so effective.

There’s no single method to motivate entry-level employees. You need a range of communication tools to ignite their on-the-job passion. Consider the example set by Rich Snyder of In-N-Out Burger.
The Associated Press placed Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the top 10 athletes of the 20th century. "The formula for success is simple," she said. "Practice and concentration, then more practice and more concentration."
Eric Greitens became a Navy SEAL by becoming a leader. He figured the best way to start Hell Week would be to pull together a team of seven and keep them together, using the chaos of night to their advantage ...
Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, calls impatience his “greatest fault,” and it posed particular problems for him early in his career. As an employee of IBM, he learned a lesson in tact that he would never forget.
After graduating college, Mark Cuban got a job at Mellon Bank. His youthful energy led him to think like an entrepreneur—and that landed him in trouble with higher-ups ...
Within a week of Kevin Johnson becoming CEO of Juniper Networks in 2008, he met with all his direct reports in a group. He told them he wanted to listen and learn, so he asked four questions.
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