Management Practices

If growth is your #1 job, what’s #2?

June 13, 2011
As CEO, what are your top priorities? According to a recent study by the Conference Board, your answer probably depends on what industry you are in. Of the 10 priorities that CEOs were invited to rank, business growth came in first place. After growth, though, CEOs’ answers varied.

Leadership Tips: Vol. 611

June 1, 2011
Don’t assume the United States has a lock on innovation. Many top U.S. inventors—Edison, Ford, Farnsworth—refined ideas from abroad. So while it’s true that some cultures are more conforming and less open to trial-and-error than ours, it’s also true there’s no guarantee of leadership.

The science of achieving goals

May 24, 2011
People set goals all the time, but the ma­jority end up unfulfilled or abandoned. Mark Murphy, founder and CEO of Leadership IQ and author of Hard Goals, tells us about the secret to getting from where you are to where you want to be.

How to beat the other team

May 3, 2011
How do great leaders get organizations to achieve the extraordinary? For starters, they stay focused directly on their customers, not on the competition.

Figuring out the rules of optics

April 25, 2011

As a leader, how you act—and how people react to how you act—matters. For proof, look no further than the public reaction to AIG executives whining about restrictions on their bonuses. In boss land, how you behave and how things look is more important than almost anything else. It’s called the rule of optics.

How deep is your bench?

March 21, 2011
Here’s hoping you don’t run the one in five organizations that are utterly unprepared to cope with the sudden loss of key leaders. In an American Management Association survey, 1,000 senior managers and executives say their companies sorely lack bench strength.

‘Do I need to be on Twitter?’

March 17, 2011

That’s the question Steve Cunningham hears often, as the head of a digital mar­­keting agency. His reply? The true power of social media is in doing things that are worth talking about. He mentions two companies known for creating buzz in social-media circles: Zappos and Apple.

Taking a cue from Dave Matthews Band

February 25, 2011
Despite a precipitous decline in record sales across the music industry, the Dave Matthews Band continues to rock on with high sales and profitable tours. What’s DMB’s secret to becoming one of the top-grossing music tours of 2010?

Never underestimate the underdog

February 10, 2011
It’s a David and Goliath story in which David is CEO of a tiny neighborhood bank, Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust Co., while Goliath is Capital One. Last year, Capital One ran a snide ­radio ad about “Old Dusty Bank” and its leader, “Mr. Burke.” Burke’s customers rallied in his defense …

Clairol’s golden period of growth

February 2, 2011
A fear-driven corporate culture is what Steve Sadove encountered when he took over as president of Clairol in 1991. “Part of my role as the leader was to create an environment that was going to allow innovation and creativity and make it OK to fail,” recalls Sadove. Thus began a golden period of growth for Clairol.