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.

Robert McNamara’s blind spot

April 13, 2012

Nobody argues the fact that Robert McNamara was a genius. The Ford Motor Co. whiz kid who led the Pentagon into the Vietnam War, and the World Bank into unprecedented expansion, solved problems with sheer brains. But McNamara’s flaw may have been that, in a larger sense, he just didn’t “get it.”

General MacArthur and the need for speed

February 9, 2012

The pace of change seems to grow more urgent every year. Some see it as an attribute of leadership in the 21st century—right up there with judgment and courage. Consider, then, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who spread the speed creed 70 years before it was cool.

Bringing Army efficiency to business: Lt. Gen. Pagonis

August 15, 2011
Allied Forces commander Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf once called Lt. Gen. William G. Pagonis the “logistical wizard” of the first Gulf War. Now Pagonis applies his wizardry to the business world. What the Army taught him about business:

‘Bull’ Halsey: No spit or polish for this admiral

July 19, 2011
Through force, grit and bombast—and being one with his team—Adm. William “Bull” Halsey secured a decisive naval victory at Guadalcanal and a turning point in the South Pacific during World War II.

John Paul Jones, a true visionary

December 13, 2010

John Paul Jones captained a small ship for a country that didn’t even exist, fighting against the greatest sea power of the age. A full century ahead of his time, he envisioned the United States as a global maritime force. Jones thought strategically, making a connection between naval power and world domination. In a word, he had vision. And he did not allow current realities to intrude on that vision…

3 leadership lessons from Admiral Allen

December 9, 2010
Most Americans first became aware of former U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen when he led the disaster response to Hurricane Katrina following the dismissal of FEMA director Michael Brown. Leading in a crisis situation is tough and Admiral Allen leaves us with 3 leadership lessons we can all take away.

Temper your ‘inner Patton’

November 8, 2010
After the death of George Steinbrenner, people asked whether a lower-key approach by the New York Yankees owner could have accomplished just as much. Research suggests that you need a balance between drive and domination. Steinbrenner’s hero—surprise!—was Gen. George Patton.

Rommel on leadership

November 4, 2010

German Gen. Erwin Rommel earned a reputation during World War II as a brilliant field tactician whose aggressive strikes often dazed and confused larger enemy forces. But Rommel alienated junior officers by expecting perfection without keeping them apprised of his thinking.

Is the age of profanity over?

September 13, 2010
Goldman Sachs now prohibits employees from swearing in e-mails, and uses screening software to spot and remove profanity. The impetus for change was the company’s embarrassment over profanity-littered e-mails that were repeatedly trotted out during congressional hearings. But is there ever a good cause for profanity in the workplace?