Profiles in Leadership

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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 ...
As president and chief executive of Tangerine—formerly ING Direct Canada—Peter Aceto could act like most big bank CEOs and cultivate an image of aloofness and power. But he does the reverse.
Some entrepreneurs love to launch businesses, but they lack interest in managing growing enterprises. Tom Gegax made the successful transition from startup bootstrapper to business builder.
In 2000, Robin Chase founded Zipcar. The car-sharing service was an instant hit; within three months, the firm had 400 members. Chase was about to secure new funding to grow the business when she crunched the numbers and realized her business model was seriously flawed ...
Even though Atul Gawande is at the top of his profession—he’s a leading surgeon, journalist and winner of a MacArthur “genius” grant—he knows he’s capable of improving his professional performance. That’s why he hired a coach.
Leaders cannot talk their way out of a deteriorating business. To reverse course, take bold steps. Bob Flexon became Dynegy’s CEO in July 2011; four months later, the energy company filed for bankruptcy. To boost morale, Flexon unveiled a series of dramatic changes.
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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