Leadership Profiles

How her honesty spun Zipcar back around

April 10, 2014
In 2000, Robin Chase founded Zipcar. The car-sharing service was an instant hit; within three months, the firm had 400 members. Chase was about to secure new funding to grow the business when she crunched the numbers and realized her business model was seriously flawed …

At Zappos, it’s all fun and business

April 8, 2014
Most CEOs abide by social norms. Not Tony Hsieh of Zappos.

A MacArthur ‘genius’ gets smarter

April 3, 2014
Even though Atul Gawande is at the top of his profession—he’s a leading surgeon, journalist and winner of a MacArthur “genius” grant—he knows he’s capable of improving his professional performance. That’s why he hired a coach.

Dynegy CEO sets ‘be here now’ culture

March 27, 2014
Leaders cannot talk their way out of a deteriorating business. To reverse course, take bold steps. Bob Flexon became Dynegy’s CEO in July 2011; four months later, the energy company filed for bankruptcy. To boost morale, Flexon unveiled a series of dramatic changes.

A new CEO asked just 4 questions

March 20, 2014
Within a week of Kevin Johnson becoming CEO of Juniper Networks in 2008, he met with all his direct reports in a group. He told them he wanted to listen and learn, so he asked four questions.

How to relate? Create CEO ‘user manual’

March 13, 2014
Ivar Kroghrud sees himself as “chief ironing officer.” In his 13 years as CEO of QuestBack, he spent much of his time ironing out employees’ problems. He’s now lead strategist at the Oslo, Norway-based firm, which provides feedback management tools.

Get more miles from simple strategy

March 6, 2014

Bruce Halle’s competitors keep expanding their service and product offerings to capture a bigger chunk of car owners’ expenditures. Why does Halle resist? Because his strategy is to address what the consumer is actually buying.

LinkedIn CEO ready for ‘next play’

February 27, 2014
Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, frequently borrows a phrase from legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who likes to say “next play” after every sequence on the basketball court. It’s a way to focus players on what they need to do to succeed.

Groups wield power at Whole Foods

February 20, 2014
For decades, management experts have praised Jack Welch as a model leader. The former CEO of General Electric was famous for firing the lowest-rated performers every year, causing employees to compete with each other to retain their jobs. John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, rejects that approach.

The art of asking questions

February 19, 2014
Bill Kanarick has always enjoyed asking questions—and it has served him well. He’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Sapient Corp., a global services company based in ­Boston.