Strategic Leadership

Millennials try Burger King turnaround

November 26, 2014
Daniel Schwartz, 33, is one of the youngest chief executives of a major global enterprise. A former Wall Street analyst, he brought a cost-cutting mindset to Burger King.

His Barbie makeover boosted a tired brand

November 26, 2014
When Mattel hired Richard Dickson as general manager of its Barbie brand in 2008, the famous doll was in a lull. After hitting a high of $1.52 billion in ­Barbie sales in 2002, Mattel had struggled through a six-year decline. Dickson hit the ground running to put an end to “brand goulash.”

CEO of Domino’s stared bad pizza in the face

November 19, 2014
In late 2008, Domino’s market share was plummeting. Instead of blaming collapsing sales on the nation’s economic downturn, executives chose a surprising strategy: They admitted their main product—pizza—wasn’t very good. Then Patrick Doyle took it a step further.

Tap humor when you need it most

November 5, 2014
During nearly 5½ years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, Lee Ellis relied on his sense of humor to keep him going. But it took his first three months in captivity for him to recapture his ability to laugh. Then 24, Ellis recalls the first time he flashed his humor as a POW.

A banker’s unusual approach to analysis

November 3, 2014

Stephen Poloz runs the Bank of Canada, the nation’s central bank. As a central banker, Poloz scrutinizes economic models to predict movements in the global financial system. But Poloz doesn’t just rely on data that he gleans from his computer screen. In addition to scanning models, graphs and economic indicators, he also gathers evidence by interviewing actual people.

Honeywell’s David Cote drafts top 12 behaviors

October 30, 2014
When David Cote became Honeywell’s CEO in 2002, it was in disarray. And so he listed 12 behaviors that he wanted everyone to follow. He felt that unifying the company around the be­­haviors would work better than articulating vague, hard-to-measure values.

Bold moves preserve 173-year-old brand

October 29, 2014

After years of steep losses, Thomas Cook Group earned a profit with Harriet Green at the helm. When she became the struggling British travel company’s CEO in July 2012, it was burning through cash. Her turnaround strategy: Make decisive decisions, quickly.

Speed and deftness matter in a crisis

October 23, 2014
Sony once demonstrated the wrong way to handle a crisis.

Steer clear of 4 costly pitfalls

October 21, 2014

Would-be leaders can limit their effectiveness by clinging to self-defeating actions and attitudes. In your rush to succeed, it’s easy to overreach and alienate potential allies. Avoid these four common traps to strengthen your ability to lead over the long term.

Resist the push to make bad decisions

October 1, 2014
As you near a deadline to close a sale, negotiate a deal or make a big decision, the inexorable push to complete it can undermine your judgment. So how do you stay focused and logical?