Profiles in Leadership

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When Glenn Murphy left a Canadian drugstore chain in 2007 to become CEO of Gap, the clothing retailer had sustained a multiyear losing streak. But it’s finally bouncing back.
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 ...
Throughout his years in the financial services industry, Graham Coxell of brokerage firm Rowan Dartington has witnessed good and bad leadership. His conclusion? It’s better to seek to understand others than berate them.

In November 1942, Col. Curtis LeMay delivered a briefing to his World War II bomber pilots. He told them they would fly directly toward the target, maximizing the risk of German anti-aircraft fire. LeMay revealed that he would fly the lead bomber, and his willingness to make himself a focal point for enemy fire inspired the squadron.

What behaviors make great ­leaders? "Integrity is so essential. People will only follow someone who has integrity," says Al Bolea, who has enjoyed an exciting career in the oil and gas industry. Today, Bolea runs Applied ­Leadership Seminars in Big Lake, Alaska.
Frank Lloyd Wright did not endear himself to his team. In the half-century since his death, many experts have reflected on his inability to lead. The lesson? As you gain authority, work harder than ever to support others’ success.
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.
Conrad Hilton converted a fleabag into a hotel empire. Hiltons were the first hotels to put ­air-conditioning, TVs, ironing boards and sewing kits in their rooms. Modern hotel-reservation systems evolved from Hil­­ton’s 1948 prototype. "Successful men keep moving," he said. "They don’t stop to think about the next move."
Peter Diamandis has built his entrepreneurial career around gathering creative people and letting them loose to chase lofty goals. The 51-year-old founded the X Prize Foundation, a nonprofit that runs competitions to identify the most ambitious ideas and technologies to help humanity.
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 ...
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