Leadership Mistakes

A lesson in how power can corrupt

May 29, 2014
Frank Lloyd Wright did not endear himself to his team. In the half-century since his death, many experts have reflected on his inability to lead. The lesson? As you gain authority, work harder than ever to support others’ success.

Craig Newmark’s best mistake

May 21, 2014
Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, calls impatience his “greatest fault,” and it posed particular problems for him early in his career. As an employee of IBM, he learned a lesson in tact that he would never forget.

CEO’s lashing out at critics a no-go

May 19, 2014
If you’re going to defend yourself and your organization against carping ­­critics, build a strong case. Don’t just whine and complain.

Make a mistake? Write it down

May 12, 2014
Unlike most of his peers, ­CEO Jeff Stibel decided to memorialize his failures in writing—and in doing so, learned valuable lessons.

One bad tweet can destroy you

April 28, 2014

As more executives embrace social media, the odds of embarrassing blunders soar. One wrong move can destroy a career. Consider what happened to public-relations maven Justine Sacco.

3 strikes against Yahoo’s CEO

April 22, 2014

Marissa Mayer possesses many leader­­ship qualities. She’s bright, articulate and a self-professed computer geek who’s Yahoo’s president and chief executive. But Mayer, 38, has her share of personality flaws. While one or two weaknesses might be easy to overlook, former employees grumble about three hard-to-ignore failings.

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 …

Dropped the ball? So, was it this bad?

March 24, 2014
Next time you rue one of the coulda­­shouldawoulda missteps every leader inevitably makes, know that your fumble can’t possibly be worse than these three, recently rated the biggest business goofs of all time by Business­­Insider.com.

Seek feedback at your own risk

March 21, 2014
Many would-be leaders claim to crave honest feedback. But when they get it, they ignore it or even take offense. For many CEOs, there’s a cost of asking for input: having to take it seriously.

A Navy officer’s botched repair

February 27, 2014
U.S. Navy lieutenant Robert Wray was assigned to an important mission on the USS Omaha submarine. At sea, the crew discovered a leak in a complex piece of equipment. After 30 hours of stressful work in cramped surroundings, Wray and his team found it leaked worse than ever …