Best-Practices Leadership

Perfecting the art of invention

May 3, 2011
Executive Leadership is pleased to present this time-machine interview with Thomas Alva Edison, who perfected the art of invention in 19th century America and touched off a technological revolution in the 20th century.

Ian Ballantine: prophet of profit

April 28, 2011

In college, Ian Ballantine wrote a paper on the potential profitability of paperback books. At that time, paperbacks were asso­ciated with “trash novels,” but one publishing house, Penguin, was publishing paperback editions of mainstream books. Penguin snapped up Ballantine, who later founded Ballantine Books.

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.

Coming up with a billion-dollar idea

April 20, 2011
To come up with a billion-dollar idea, say ideation experts Kevin P. Coyne and Shawn T. Coyne, you need to phrase the right questions in a “hard” way that forces thinkers to look for major departures from current practices, significant exceptions versus aver­age consumer needs, and cost differences.

It takes more than just luck at Caesars

April 15, 2011

While theft is a firing offense at Caesars, so too is running an experiment without a control group. Gary Loveman, CEO, president and chairman of Caesars Entertainment, puts a continued focus on data analysis and small-scale testing that can scale into companywide initiatives.

What’s your defining moment?

April 5, 2011
When Bill Rasmussen borrowed $9,000 on his credit card for a new venture in 1979, he didn’t realize he was making a decision that would define his career—and the future of sports broadcasting. ESPN aired for the first time because of that defining-moment decision by Rasmussen.

Inside the mind of great entrepreneurs

April 1, 2011
What distinguishes great entrepreneurs? By eavesdropping on the thinking of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs, Professor Saras Sarasvathy discovered that master entrepreneurs are like Iron Chefs: They’re at their best when presented with a spread of ingredients, then challenged to push their imagination to the limit.

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.

When collaboration fails, you fail!

March 11, 2011

After last year’s salmonella outbreak, in which thousands became ill after eating contaminated eggs, a billion of them were pulled from stores. Much of the blame was attributed to poor federal oversight and lack of coordination across federal agencies.