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Profiles in Leadership

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Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, frequently borrows a phrase from legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who likes to say “next play” after every sequence on the basketball court. It’s a way to focus players on what they need to do to succeed.
For decades, management experts have praised Jack Welch as a model leader. The former CEO of General Electric was famous for firing the lowest-rated performers every year, causing employees to compete with each other to retain their jobs. John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, rejects that approach.
During Facebook’s meteoric rise from startup to global giant, founder Mark Zuckerberg sought to preserve the company’s innovative culture. He achieved this by embracing what he calls “The Hacker Way.”
In just over a decade, the Tufts University men’s lacrosse team has gone from worst to first under head coach Mike Daly. Instead of focusing on wins, Daly urged players to take pride in mastering the details and always improving their craft.
Starting his career as a junior naval officer, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt Jr. earned a series of promotions to become the youngest vice admiral in Navy history. He commanded U.S. naval forces in Vietnam and, at age 49, became chief of naval operations—the youngest man to serve as the Navy’s highest-ranking ­officer.
Typically, a CEO who seeks to impress an important client will defer to the client’s wishes. But Linda Kaplan Thaler isn’t a typical CEO. As chief executive of a big New York advertising agency, she recalls a 2001 meeting with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp.
Many CEOs favor fact-based leadership. Rather than rely on their impressions or gut instinct, they tend to scrutinize facts and make decisions rooted in hard data. Alan Mulally, Ford Motor’s 68-year-old CEO, has stood out among leaders of American auto companies for his intense focus on numbers.

With the passing of actor Andy Griffith in 2012, his most famous TV character, Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, is worth another look for his low-key brand of leadership. Here are a few of the sheriff’s lessons on caring more and fussing less.

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.
For Daniel Vasella, former chairman of Novartis, success comes with self-awareness. He finds that effective leaders possess four strengths.
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