Profiles in Leadership

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Chief executive Dan Akerson is making progress in steering GM toward a common vision and chipping away at the old bureaucracy. Here’s how Akerson is trying to turn things around.

Few men in politics have been admired by both sides of the aisle. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is one such man. In his memoir, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, he offers up rules to live by.

Joe Coulombe still has his fingerprints all over Trader Joe’s. Founder of the food store that bears his name, Coulombe is responsible for the good selection of dried fruits and nuts, as well as the Hawaiian shirts employees wear. Other trademarks are less visible.

If you stick to your ethics 10 out of 10 times, you won’t regret where you end up. The challenge is in defining for yourself where you stand, and drawing a clear line.
Bell Labs was among the most innovative scientific organizations of the 20th century. The man at the helm was Mervin Kelly, a physicist who led the laboratory. Follow his lead for inventing the future.

Growing up, no one considered Harry Truman a leader. He was a kid with thick glasses who mostly stayed home, working the farm or reading. But the course of his life changed when he entered the Army during World War I. One rainy night, he faced a moment of true terror.

How did a young man from Cocoa Beach, Fla.—a place not known as a surfing haven—become the greatest surfer of all time? Luck? No, unbelievable drive and determination.

Actor Michael J. Fox, 30 years old when he began dealing with Parkinson’s disease, has now written three best-selling books and raised $285 million for Parkinson’s research as well as continuing his acting career. His life offers three ways to continue leading despite adversity.

Comedian Drew Carey, part owner of the Seattle Sounders soccer team, has a novel idea: Let fans vote on management. He got the idea from Spanish teams whose fans vote on key members of the club’s front office.
When David Cote took the reins at Honeywell in 2002, the company was still reeling from a series of unfortunate events. Having trained under GE’s Jack Welch, Cote began the task of forming a new Honeywell culture.
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