Leadership Profiles

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.

Facebook embraces ‘The Hacker Way’

February 12, 2014
During Facebook’s meteoric rise from startup to global giant, founder Mark Zuckerberg sought to preserve the company’s innovative culture. He achieved this by embracing what he calls “The Hacker Way.”

Lifting a team from worst to first

February 6, 2014
In just over a decade, the Tufts University men’s lacrosse team has gone from worst to first under head coach Mike Daly. Instead of focusing on wins, Daly urged players to take pride in mastering the details and always improving their craft.

Starbucks CEO takes a principled stand

February 5, 2014
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks ­Coffee Co., has a reputation for speaking his mind. His strongly voiced opinions help shape the company’s image.

Military recipe for change: ‘Z-grams’

January 30, 2014
Starting his career as a junior naval officer, Adm. Elmo Zumwalt Jr. earned a series of promotions to become the youngest vice admiral in Navy history. He commanded U.S. naval forces in Vietnam and, at age 49, became chief of naval operations—the youngest man to serve as the Navy’s highest-ranking ­officer.

Calling the shots with some chutzpah

January 23, 2014
Typically, a CEO who seeks to impress an important client will defer to the client’s wishes. But Linda Kaplan Thaler isn’t a typical CEO. As chief executive of a big New York advertising agency, she recalls a 2001 meeting with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp.

Teamwork at its best

January 21, 2014
Running a global business with 1,500 employees means balancing steady leadership with an adaptable attitude that helps people withstand constant change. Irv Rothman has learned to maintain that balance in his successful career as CEO.

Ford runs on hard data, not soft hunches

January 16, 2014
Many CEOs favor fact-based leadership. Rather than rely on their impressions or gut instinct, they tend to scrutinize facts and make decisions rooted in hard data. Alan Mulally, Ford Motor’s 68-year-old CEO, has stood out among leaders of American auto companies for his intense focus on numbers.

A billionaire without a computer

January 14, 2014
An entrepreneur worth about $4 billion, John Paul DeJoria runs his business em­pire without a computer. The co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems fears that a computer would stymie his productivity because he’d always be buried in emails.