Profiles in Leadership
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When Jeffrey Ashby, a former NASA space shuttle commander, learned in 2002 that he would lead a mission to the International Space Station, NASA had already picked his crew. To bond as a team, Ashby asked the crew to join him in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park for an 11-day trek, which paid off when they went into space.
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 ...
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.
Thanks to Mike Duke’s detail-mindedness with data and scheduling, Lee Scott thinks his successor as Walmart CEO is a better manager than he was himself. “Mike is not only a good leader but a really good manager,” Scott says.
Jeno Francesco Paulucci always did what he thought was right. The food magnate once walked out of a $40 million deal with Reynolds Tobacco because he thought its executives were arrogant. He hired “unemployable” ex-convicts and people with disabilities because he thought they deserved a chance. Nobody’s special, he would say. “We’re all the same. Just because you have a little more money doesn’t make you any better.”
R.A. Dickey’s career was failing. A pitcher in the major leagues, he struggled on the mound. To compensate for a ligament problem in his pitching arm, he was in the midst of reinventing his pitching style. Not only did he reinvent his pitch, he made it something unique—the knuckleball.
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.
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