Leadership Development

The man who fired Steve Jobs

September 13, 2010
Say what you will about John Sculley, the man who fired Steve Jobs in 1985. At least he can admit he made a mistake. He takes responsibility for his mistake and believes that Apple’s board should have understood that Jobs needed to be in charge. “Maybe he should have been the CEO and I should have been the president,” Sculley says.

Transitioning to the next level: 6 tips

August 13, 2010

Moving on up can be thorny if you’re not prepared to make the transition from a peer to a supervisor. David Peck, aka “The Recovering Leader,” offers six things to consider during and after a promotion:

Leaders’ picks on leadership books

August 13, 2010

Two University of Virginia leaders weigh in on what books you might want on your leadership bookshelf. Here are suggestions from Harry Harding, dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and Debbie Ryan, UVA’s women’s basketball coach for 35 years:

Don’t be buffaloed

August 13, 2010
“It is too easy to let the person with great presentation or language skills buffalo you into thinking that they are better or more knowledgeable than someone else who might not necessarily have that particular set of skills,” says Robert W. Selander, who recently stepped down as CEO at MasterCard. Lesson: Don’t let style distract you from substance.

Ethical leaders go above & beyond

August 13, 2010

As an executive in the financial services industry for more than 40 years, Bob MacDonald noticed that too often, job applicants looked at ethics as nothing more than a set of rules. They would meet the minimum ethical standard just to get by. So he founded Old MacDonald’s Ethical Leadership Farm to teach children that ethical people do the right things even when they aren’t required.

Is optimization your crutch?

August 13, 2010

If you can measure it, you can improve it. You can optimize. But how much of your energy are you spending on optimization vs. creation? Seth Godin, a thought leader in marketing and the changing business environment, says, “I worry that a never-ending cycle of optimization can become a crutch, a place to hide when you really should be confronting the endless unknown, not the banal stair step of incremental optimization.”

Pinning down the elements of courage

August 13, 2010

Courage is a slippery concept but, like art, we know it when we see it. Author Harriet Rubin defines courage as a virtue that allows us to face real risk. Rubin divides courage into components, noting that you never know who’s going to deliver and who will crack under pressure:

Nice guys can finish first

July 9, 2010
Hard-driving, “results-at-all-costs” executives actually diminish the bottom line, while self-aware leaders with strong interpersonal skills deliver better financial performance. So says a recent study by organizational consulting firm Green Peak Partners in collaboration with researchers at Cornell University.

Reclaim your calendar … and your life

July 9, 2010

Stever Robbins, famous for advice on maximizing your creativity and whipping your e-mail into submission, now is integrating time management and innovation into a coherent system for getting things done. From his new guide to working less and accomplishing more:

Quit hanging onto resentment

July 9, 2010
Leaders are not immune to resentment, but it’s been said that holding onto a grudge is like taking poison and hoping the other person will die. Instead of focusing on what you would change in somebody else, turn your attention to what needs to change in you. First steps: