Leadership Mistakes

Fight off overconfidence or go bust

July 28, 2016
As CEO of Blockbuster in 2004, John Antioco headed a retail giant. The $6 billion video rental chain earned 60% profit margins with 60,000 employees. But six years later, it went bankrupt.

Why did United Technologies’ CEO quit?

July 27, 2016
If leadership aspirations are too lofty, they can lose all their meaning.

4 signs your company’s gone to the dark side

June 30, 2016

Overwhelmed by the expectations of superiors to keep the money rolling in, it’s easy for managers to begin to overlook little ethical lapses. But where does it lead?

Use humor, but don’t offend

May 10, 2016
One CEO says the worst decision he ever made was making an ill-advised joke.

The orange that made Whole Foods red-faced

March 28, 2016
The grocery giant recently suffered a pratfall many found funny—but it was a tough lesson for businesses in this age of ‘justice by social media.’

4 common leadership slip-ups

January 29, 2016
In the face of overwhelming change, it’s easy to see why senior managers retreat to mechanisms that help them avoid anxiety and discomfort. But those mechanisms, by definition, thwart leadership.

Scrutiny continues for Yahoo, Mayer amid turmoil

January 29, 2016
In the three and a half years that Marissa Mayer has run Yahoo, many of her key executives have quit. In October 2015, Mayer implied that those who left Yahoo lacked certain skills.

A harsh lesson on blind loyalty

December 31, 2015
As David Gergen, a speechwriter for Richard Nixon, remained loyal to the president through the Watergate scandal, he kept hoping against hope that the accusations were all untrue. He would never forget what that taught him.

VW’s slow road back to trust

November 16, 2015
By secretly tampering with its cars’ emissions controls for years, German automaker Volkswagen has dealt itself a self-inflicted wound.

Indulging his hobby proves costly to doc

November 5, 2015
When Denton Cooley, 95, reflects on his storied career as a pioneering cardiovascular surgeon, he admits that he made some judgment errors as a young physician.