Leadership Profiles

Henri Becquerel and overwork

November 25, 2010
If you said that Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radiation, you’d be almost right. They were following up on Henri Becquerel’s discovery of radioactive particles emanating from uranium. But with dedication to one’s work often comes disregard for one’s health. Becquerel died suddenly at age 55, probably from handling radioactive stones.

Cartoon great Chuck Jones’ success tips

November 24, 2010

Cartoon creator and producer Chuck Jones credits his success to a lack of constant supervision early on and his father’s string of business failures. Every time his father launched a business, he’d print new stationery and pencils. Using his cast-offs, Jones drew and drew. Here are his six success tips.

Murdoch: Success driven by the deal

November 15, 2010

You could say Rupert Murdoch’s dominant role in media comes from his constant need to be involved in a deal. But his deals, after all, are what transformed News Corp. from a one-dimensional newspaper publisher into a global media enterprise.

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.

Minding the details at Walmart

October 29, 2010

With a $408 billion business, you would think that Mike Duke, CEO of Walmart, couldn’t possibly keep an eye on the details. Not so. At a recent Walmart morning meeting for 900, the CEO decided to bring up a problem he had spotted with the ladies’ underwear section …

Hadrian, a leader for the ages

October 28, 2010

The Roman emperor Hadrian, who ruled just after 100 A.D., is a model for leaders to this day. Examples of his good governance: wisdom, tolerance, modesty, legacy.

Look for the simplest solution

October 21, 2010

As he surveyed the skies one night in 1781, William Herschel noticed an object he first thought to be a comet. Upon moving to a bigger telescope, though, Herschel realized that this was an undiscovered planet, subsequently named Uranus. The peculiar thing about Herschel’s discovery isn’t so much the discovery itself …

Building the Brooklyn Bridge

October 19, 2010

Emily Roebling was a working mother ahead of her time. Her father-in-law—a serious, humorless, severe man—was the visionary who designed the Brooklyn Bridge. Enlisted into service after her father-in-law was killed and her husband injured, she eventually was considered the bridge’s chief engineer. It took 14 years and the pretense that her husband was still in charge. Here’s how she defied naysayers who called the bridge a “wild experiment.”

Facebook co-founder’s global mission

October 18, 2010

What do you do after you’ve already created the world’s largest social network? Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes saw a community of people wanting to help victims of natural disasters. His vision—call it Philanthropy 2.0—was to speed the pace of positive global change. So he created an online conduit for people to identify social causes and build relationships.