Management Practices

Leadership on the high seas

May 10, 2012
On the Maersk Alabama, the captain’s cool head, long experience and clear sense of duty saved the ship from pirates off Africa’s east coast. To understand why it did end so well for Captain Richard Phillips and his crew, you have to go back to his days as a seaman learning by example that deeds count, not words.

An undercover boss makes a good leader

April 6, 2012

While you’re Managing by Walking Around, throw in a dose of Managing by Walking in Their Shoes. The entire nation has witnessed what leaders can learn by spending time on the front lines, thanks to reality show “Undercover Boss.”

When big, steady growth is the ‘law’

March 16, 2012

In his latest book, management thinker Jim Collins tried to get at how com­panies thrive amid chaos. Some winners cut against common wisdom.

The secret to beating the competition

March 14, 2012
When market dynamics change, how quickly can you respond? Here are three steps for pivoting faster than the competition: 1. Speed up your rhythm. 2. Build scenarios. 3. Monitor.

Gen. Marshall’s two words of advice

January 27, 2012
As World War II came to an end, Secretary of State George Marshall told the State Department’s director of policy planning, George Kennan, to get his team together and come up with an economic relief plan for Europe. Marshall didn’t become bogged down in telling Kennan how to do his job. But he did offer “two deeply serious and unforgettable words,” says Kennan. “Avoid trivia.”

Welcome to Con Air

January 11, 2012
Ever wonder how prisoners are moved around the country? Such transfers require careful leadership and coordination of about 15,000 prisoners a month through 40 cities, on a fleet known as “Con Air,” under the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System.

Sharpen your ‘A’ game

November 2, 2011

An organization’s health results in part from its ability to renew itself faster than its competitors. Researchers from McKinsey & Co. use a process called the “five A’s” to build a competitive advantage.

Leadership Tips: Vol. 1111

November 1, 2011
Stick to the plan: Chipotle Mexican Grill founder Steve Ells runs his place on rules. He limits the menu to four basic items, serves no coffee or dessert, and doesn’t mess with limited-time offers. Even room temperature is strictly regulated. Result: Revenue has tripled since 2006, to $2 billion.

French firm drives home diversity

October 27, 2011

Diversity is on the mind of Severin Cabannes, one of three deputy CEOs for Société Générale. The France-based global banking concern is pressing forward on a topic that doesn’t get much play in today’s economy-obsessed world:

Lay the groundwork for small miracles

October 11, 2011
Sometimes, it takes a miracle to hold an organization (or yourself) together, and sometimes, that miracle turns out to be extremely hard to maintain.