Strategic Leadership

Putting the brakes on Mazda’s decline

September 30, 2016
The U.S. is a hotly competitive market for automakers, especially for smaller players like Mazda with sagging sales. That isn’t stopping Masahiro Moro, president and CEO of Mazda’s North American business, from making inroads.

Michael Phelps’ stylish exit

September 26, 2016
Capping your career, or a segment of it, can be hard to pull off on your own terms.

Burger heiress shuns the spotlight

September 18, 2016
America’s youngest female billionaire prefers to keep a low profile. Lynsi Snyder runs In-N-Out Burger, a chain of over 300 fast-food restaurants in six western states.

Walt Disney’s keen eye for talent

September 14, 2016
Part of Walt Disney’s genius was recognizing talented people and giving them the freedom to innovate. The more passion they brought to the job, the more Disney admired them.

Promote learning by letting go

September 13, 2016
A much-loved Harvard Business School professor, Hrand Saxenian (1924-2014) influenced thousands of students over the years—including management guru Stephen Covey.

Relying on predictions? Beware reality

September 12, 2016
Strategic planning involves analyzing trends, foretelling events and predicting the repercussions of such events. But you can get caught in a crisis if you put too much stock in predictions that prove faulty.

A chagrined CEO admits errors

September 8, 2016
To his credit, Joel Gascoigne doesn’t run away from his mistakes. Instead, he admits them openly for all to see.

Stay a step ahead in bad times

August 28, 2016

You cannot lead an anxious workforce by making them even more worried. If you warn employees about the possibility of a recession or discuss other doomsday scenarios, you risk driving them to despair. On the other hand, relentless cheerleading amid shrinking profits won’t enhance your credibility and will have limited impact if people sense more pain in the near term.

Handling an abrasive mediator

August 26, 2016
Q. I work for a firm that distributes products in South America. We have been in a very heated conflict with a customer who claims we did not fill an order as specified by our five-year contract. My firm disagrees. I suggested to my boss that we try mediation, and the customer agreed. But the mediator we are working with seems rather abrasive and off-putting. We would like to resolve this conflict quickly or go the arbitration route. Any advice?

How Google’s decision-making works

August 15, 2016

Eric Schmidt joined Google as its CEO in 2001. Even though the company was already a smashing success, he knew his job wouldn’t be easy. Schmidt, 61, understood the risk that founders take when hiring an outsider as CEO. Clashes can occur as founders chafe at the CEO’s decisions.