Leadership Profiles

Campbell’s ‘soup-er’ woman

October 24, 2013
When The Wall Street Journal interviewed Denise Morrison in 2007, she was president of Campbell USA. Senior executives usually downplay their ambitions, but Morrison boldly told the re­­porter that she wanted to become CEO of a large corporation. In 2011, she be­came Campbell’s CEO.

The power of shared values

October 16, 2013
“Great leadership is not a solo act,” says Robert Vanourek, chairman emeritus of the Vail Leadership Institute and co-author of Triple Crown Leadership. “It’s a group performance. You need to connect through the heart to lead effectively.”

Reduce the message to 3×5 cards

October 15, 2013

William Gus Pagonis ran logistics in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Based on the 18 months that Pagonis directed the movement of troops and supplies to the Gulf, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf praised him as the war’s “logistical wizard.” How did Pagonis do it?

National park trek saves NASA mission

October 10, 2013
When Jeffrey Ashby, a former NASA space shuttle commander, learned in 2002 that he would lead a mission to the International Space Station, NASA had already picked his crew. To bond as a team, Ashby asked the crew to join him in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park for an 11-day trek, which paid off when they went into space.

Form your own culture club

October 3, 2013
Aaron Jagdfeld runs a fast-growing company with $1 billion in annual ­revenue. He’s president and CEO of ­Generac Holdings, a maker of automatic standby generators based in Waukesha, Wis. Jagdfeld joined Generac in 1994 and became its chief executive in 2008, starting with a blank slate to shape the company’s culture.

Think you know it all? Think again

September 26, 2013
Like many senior executives, Donald Keough makes clear-cut decisions. But sometimes—as when he was president of The Coca-Cola Co. in 1989—his snap judgments have made him appear too bossy …

CEO turns tragedy into branded giving

September 24, 2013
Employees of Boston-based apparel company Life is Good asked whether they could do something to raise money for the victims of the bombings that occurred at this year’s marathon. CEO Bert Jacobs’ first response was no but he soon changed his mind. “We’re a brand about the power of optimism,” he says. “We should be leaders of the spirit when bad things happen.”

Dreaming big despite adversity: Oscar Niemeyer

September 19, 2013
Oscar Niemeyer, one of the world’s most prominent modern architects, is re­­nowned for his light, airy and fanciful structures. Famous for designing the capital city of Brasília, and for collaborating with Le Corbusier on the United Nations headquarters in New York, Niemeyer was a pioneer who needed to escape the clutches of fascism to continue his work.

Donny Deutsch: The disappearing boss

September 12, 2013
Advertising executive and TV personality Donny Deutsch sums up the secret of leadership in 10 words: You need to be comfortable enough not to be needed.

Military hero shone as CEO

September 4, 2013
After flying 61 combat missions in World War II and winning military honors, Robert McDermott didn’t bask in the glow of his military heroics. Instead, he helped build the Air Force Academy into a model of military education and then shifted to the private sector to become CEO of USAA.