Strategic Leadership

Bet big on sponsorship deals

March 16, 2015

CEOs at big corporations often let their marketing managers make local sponsorship deals. A company might wind up supporting Little League teams, arts festivals and other community events. David D’Alessandro rejects that approach. When he was CEO of John Hancock Financial Services from 2000 to 2004, he adopted a “go big or go home” philosophy.

Hire for agility in learning

March 12, 2015

Change happens so fast that you can’t rely on experience or academics for what you’ll need on the job. This is why Michael Trusty, an executive at Rolls-Royce, looks for employees who show agility in learning.

A turnaround tale starts with a sense of mission

March 11, 2015
When Jay Gould joined American Standard in 2012 as CEO, he faced a liquidity crisis. Draining cash, the once-venerable plumbing company was on the brink of collapse. The company’s 5,500 employees had gotten used to layoffs, and there was little reason to believe more weren’t coming. Gould needed a way to boost morale, and he found it.

How Nate Silver makes his calls

March 9, 2015

Great decision-makers aren’t just bold and smart. They also tend to analyze large amounts of data in order to draw conclusions that others might miss. Take Nate Silver, 37, a statistician with an impressive track record for making correct predictions in sports and politics.

3 leadership fails

March 6, 2015
The last thing you can afford to do is disconnect from your team. Here are three ways to inadvertently make that happen.

Internal turbulence hampered the Jets

January 29, 2015
For Super Bowl week, here’s a cautionary tale of how tricky it is to lead a team to victory. In 2011, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan lacked the same familiarity running an offense as he did guiding the defense. As a result, he delegated—a bit too much.

Develop future leaders by lifting morale

January 22, 2015

When Doug Conant joined Campbell Soup Co. in 2001 as CEO, cheaper brands threatened the company’s future. Conant’s predecessor had raised prices, alienating many Campbell fans. Almost immediately, Conant detected a serious problem: morale.

After deadly outbreak, a gutsy rebound

January 16, 2015

Founded in 1927, Maple Leaf Foods enjoyed a long run of success as a Canadian food processing company. But in 2008, some of the firm’s luncheon meats proved deadly. Due to a contaminated Maple Leaf plant in Toronto, a Listeria bacteria outbreak claimed 21 lives. CEO Michael McCain suddenly faced a huge crisis.

Keep score to drive peak performance

January 14, 2015
At a football game, fans check the scoreboard to see whether their favorite team is winning or losing. Do your employees have an equally easy way to keep score?

Microsoft CEO’s hard-earned wisdom

December 30, 2014
During Steve Ballmer’s 13 years as Micro­­soft’s CEO, the company’s revenues tripled and its profits doubled. But the man who replaced Bill Gates also took some criticism.