Leadership Theories

Groups wield power at Whole Foods

February 20, 2014
For decades, management experts have praised Jack Welch as a model leader. The former CEO of General Electric was famous for firing the lowest-rated performers every year, causing employees to compete with each other to retain their jobs. John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, rejects that approach.

The flattened hierarchy lives

January 22, 2014
Eileen Fisher’s line of radically simple clothing has a pretty radical leadership structure.

Buying into the company culture

November 21, 2013

Rob Eberle, president and chief executive of Bottomline Technologies, cites three things as his primary roles as CEO: bring in new talent, help his people get better each year and listen to them. “The technology today won’t be the technology tomorrow,” he says. “It’s the people that matter most.”

Are we geniuses after all?

September 2, 2013
Michael Shermer, a contributor to Scientific American and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, is deeply skeptical of a popular theory that wildly successful “outliers” are mainly the objects of good fortune.

Turning transparency into action

August 29, 2013
Mark Leslie ran two firms before becoming chairman and CEO of Veritas Soft­­ware in 1990. He knew from experience that when senior executives make deci­­sions based on shared information with their employees, it decreases office politics and helps everyone buy into the company’s strategy.

Margaret Thatcher on leadership

July 12, 2013
When former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died earlier this year, the media burned up with opinions on the conservative icon. Two things not in doubt are that she was a bold leader and one of the 20th ­century’s heroes.

Putting diversity to work: 3 lessons

June 24, 2013
Studies of diversity have exploded in the decades since it was recognized that most new entrants to the 21st century workforce would be women and minorities. University of Michigan researcher Scott Page shows how diversity helps organizations. Here are three of his lessons on putting diversity to work.

6 humble traits of servant leaders

June 6, 2013
The term “servant leader” applies to executives who lack huge egos. They win allegiance by positioning themselves as supportive allies, not bossy tyrants. Servant leaders exhibit six traits:

3 keys to commanding troops in battle

April 22, 2013
Harold Moore Jr. is a retired lieutenant general in the U.S. Army who’s famous as a Vietnam War battlefield commander. He’s co-author of We Were Soldiers Once … And Young and other books. Years ago, Moore gave a talk in which he listed three principles of leadership.

After SWOT analysis, consider culture

March 20, 2013
Many executives equate strategic planning with staging a “SWOT analysis”—an examination of their organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But recent research adds another element to the mix: an organization’s culture.