Profiles in Leadership

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Aaron Jagdfeld runs a fast-growing company with $1 billion in annual ­revenue. He’s president and CEO of ­Generac Holdings, a maker of automatic standby generators based in Waukesha, Wis. Jagdfeld joined Generac in 1994 and became its chief executive in 2008, starting with a blank slate to shape the company's culture.
Like many senior executives, Donald Keough makes clear-cut decisions. But sometimes—as when he was president of The Coca-Cola Co. in 1989—his snap judgments have made him appear too bossy ...
Oscar Niemeyer, one of the world’s most prominent modern architects, is re­­nowned for his light, airy and fanciful structures. Famous for designing the capital city of Brasília, and for collaborating with Le Corbusier on the United Nations headquarters in New York, Niemeyer was a pioneer who needed to escape the clutches of fascism to continue his work.
Advertising executive and TV personality Donny Deutsch sums up the secret of leadership in 10 words: You need to be comfortable enough not to be needed.
After flying 61 combat missions in World War II and winning military honors, Robert McDermott didn’t bask in the glow of his military heroics. Instead, he helped build the Air Force Academy into a model of military education and then shifted to the private sector to become CEO of USAA.
Mark Leslie ran two firms before becoming chairman and CEO of Veritas Soft­­ware in 1990. He knew from experience that when senior executives make deci­­sions based on shared information with their employees, it decreases office politics and helps everyone buy into the company’s strategy.
Two concerns keep Skanska CEO Mike McNally up at night. He worries that one of the company’s 50,000 employees around the world might act unethically. He also frets about the risk of accidents and injuries.
Early in his career, John Allison knew he possessed strong math and analytical skills. But the young banker wanted to do more than crunch numbers, so he developed as a leader. He became BB&T’s CEO in 1989 and served in that role for nearly 20 years.
On June 2, 1944, all the pieces were in place for the largest amphibious assault in world history. Planning for D-Day fell to Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower. The only unknown? The weather. How did he make one of the most consequential decisions in history?
Peter Aceto, CEO of ING Direct Canada, has plunged into the world of social media. He uses Twitter to forge relationships with consumers and build the ING brand. Follow his lead in doing social media with three simple guidelines.
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