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Profiles in Leadership

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Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley had a lot going for him, although in the beginning, money wasn’t one of them. He arrived in Chicago from Philadelphia in 1891, holding only $32.  “A man’s doubts and fears are his worst enemies,” he said. “He can go ahead and do anything so long as he doesn’t know he can’t do it.”
"The only sus­tainable source of competitive advantage is innovation. It’s that simple. And that hard, " says Andrew Razeghi, who teaches innovation at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is an advisor to Fortune 500 companies. He says the real reason for Detroit’s failure to innovate lies in its rewards system ...

You’d be forgiven for expecting Shaun White to become a shill after winning a gold medal in snowboarding at the Olympics and more gold in skateboarding at the Summer X Games. Instead, the “Flying Tomato,” with his wild red hair and southern California style, took control of his image.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey may have found the solution to the interruption-heavy life of a C-suite executive: He themes his days. If he didn’t, he might find it impossible to do his job. Or, rather, jobs.

Donald Keough, former president of Coca-Cola, has 10 commandments to follow if you want to be a “highly successful loser”: 1. Play it safe. It doesn’t take long for things to grind to a halt if you simply reduce risk to zero. 2. Don't budge. Inflexibility is one of the fastest ways to lose both customers and employees. That’s what happened at Coke for years as company leaders came to think of the drink and the green bottle as a single unit.

The world was simpler when Shelly Lazarus went to work for ad agency Ogilvy & Mather in 1971. Decades later, as CEO and chairwoman of the behemoth Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide that employs over 15,000 people in 125 countries, Lazarus continued to keep in mind one simple advertising truth. Even when others told her it did not apply to China.

Dean Kamen, inventor of the portable insulin pump, the wheelchair that climbs stairs and the Segway electric scooter, has three operating principles that have propelled him into leadership in his field:

Joe Englert, a developer of nightspots in Washington, D.C., became bored with what the city had to offer in the 1980s, so he leased an old pub and created a weekend joint called The Random Club ... that started the drive to revitalize a run-down corridor of the city. Englert’s experience goes to show that leaders must be willing to explore unusual opportunities.

They called him Mr. Hockey for good reason. He was one of the sport’s icons. “If people someday compare me to Gordie Howe, it will be the biggest compliment they could pay me,” says Wayne Gretzky, who broke several of Howe’s records. “If you ask me about my idol, there’s just one: Gordie.” Howe offers this advice to leaders:
Pandora, the free Internet radio that plays music specifically suited to your taste, continues to grow like a weed, with practically every metric skyrocketing. Pandora founder Tim Westergren says, "When you’re a small company, what you lack in scale you have to make up for by being a step ahead of the competition. Innovation is an absolute cornerstone of our company."
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