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Profiles in Leadership

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Smithfield Foods, a pork-packing plant, experienced the Great Recession like everyone else. “I thought the hole we were digging was so deep we should go into the swimming pool business,” says CEO Larry Pope. Here’s how Pope turned things around.

Gain a competitive advantage by keeping things simple. That’s the lesson of Mohawk Industries CEO Jeff Lorberbaum, who starts with plain speaking, without buzzwords or complicated jargon.

Nike once found itself in a defensive position, scrutinized for social injustices. By 2011, though, it had completely turned things around, receiving top recognition for sustainability reporting. Stewarding the company through its global sustainability strategies is ­Hannah Jones.

It’s important to evaluate what sort of business relationships you’re in, so you know how to invest in each person, says LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. If you help others and make introductions because it’s the right thing to do, you’ll “expand your universe of possibilities.”
Despite the challenges of a global recession, massive recalls and a devastating disaster that all but halted production, Akio Toyoda has “re-­energized” the company, say ex­­perts familiar with Toyota. Here’s how Akio is turning things around.
Jim McNerney didn’t win the competition to succeed Jack Welch at General Electric in 2001, but he has proven a star as CEO at Boeing. McNerney wants Boeing to lead in pushing regulators to curb the industry’s environmental impact.

Dick Cass, president of the Baltimore Ravens franchise which just claimed its second NFL title, runs a successful operation quietly, based on knowledge and skills but mostly on relationships. Here's how it breaks down.

You don’t win, as a coach, more men’s college basketball games than any other without being a phenomenal leader. Duke University's Mike Krzyzewski is a leader who happens to coach basketball. He knows that his efforts and successes are about others, not about himself ...
When Douglas R. Conant stepped in to run Campbell Soup Co. in 2001, he launched a corporate transformation that entailed making Campbell a place where employees would want to stay. One strategy for employee engagement was a focus on restoring the company’s hometown of 140 years—Camden, N.J.

Jim Koch is a sixth-generation craft brew master. But unlike previous generations, he built a beer empire, Boston Beer Co., that brings in annual revenues of more than $500 million. Here’s what inspires and drives the man behind Sam Adams beer.

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