Leadership Mistakes

Combine hard and soft data

July 24, 2014
We tend to admire leaders who proclaim, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” But what if that’s not necessarily true?

Bad bosses leave mark on billionaire

June 26, 2014
After graduating college, Mark Cuban got a job at Mellon Bank. His youthful energy led him to think like an entrepreneur—and that landed him in trouble with higher-ups …

A bully boss bitten by a runaway ego

June 24, 2014
After co-founding an investment firm in 1971 and growing it into a $2 trillion giant, Bill Gross gained immense pride in his ability. But the co-chief investment officer of Pimco let his head get too big.

How Avon’s CEO got ding-donged

June 6, 2014
Avon executive Deborrah Himsel did not anticipate the flameout of her CEO, corporate superstar Andrea Jung. “If anyone seemed immune to failure, it was she,” Himsel says. Yet, multiple challenges at Avon—new business models, global strategies and technology—took Jung down.

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.