Strategic Leadership

Can AOL’s new CEO revive the brand?

January 11, 2010

Business gurus from Stephen Covey to Sam Walton have extolled the virtues of listening. Now, as AOL’s new CEO Tim Armstrong takes on the most difficult job in media today—reviving a dusty brand—he’s demonstrating the power of listening.

Emotional intelligence: Turn regret into a positive force

December 11, 2009

Research from the University of Victoria shows that most people hold regret in high regard, partly because it helps them make sense of things and fix them. In a weird way, it also feels good. Advances in neuroscience show that we learn better with an emotional connection. Regret may help us grow. Three guidelines on using regret:

Why it was easy to like Ike

December 11, 2009

What made Dwight D. Eisenhower—who led the Allies to victory in World War II and won election as U.S. president in two landslides—such an inspirational leader? Former Eisenhower speechwriter James Humes tells this story:

Change management: Finding and leading your tribe

December 11, 2009

It’s not hard to find tribes. They’re all around us: in church, at work and in the community. They’ve existed for probably thousands of years, but thanks to the Internet, tribes—from red hats to coffee drinkers to sports fans—are now easily identified and led, says marketing guru Seth Godin. To lead a tribe, ask yourself three questions:

Managing organizational change: The ‘caretaker’ who changed the church

December 11, 2009

Because Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was already almost 80 years old when he became pope in 1958, people expected him to be more of a caretaker than an innovator. But, as Pope John XXIII, Roncalli initiated one of the most sweeping eras of change in the Catholic Church since the Reformation. He did it by delegating power to those outside the Vatican walls.

Liz Claiborne CEO rides out the storm

December 11, 2009

Managing in a protracted turnaround “has been brutal,” says William L. McComb, CEO of Liz Claiborne. Under his command, the women’s clothier has posted seven consecutive quarterly losses. Yet his board of directors stands by him. He suggests these strategies for working with a board in tough times:

What’s your organization’s outward strategic plan?

December 11, 2009

A strategic communications plan can help your organization quit examining its navel and get out into the world of your customers and fans. Here are a few questions that will help you find the right message and best words for your plan:

Kraft CEO transformed a behemoth

October 9, 2009

Though big can be beautiful, the Kraft Foods behemoth was too weighed down by its centralized structure to be nimble or responsive. So in 2007, Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld initiated a rewiring of the organization to put more power in the hands of business units. She managed to get the entire executive team — even those that did not fully support the idea — to own the team’s decision. How did she get such solid alignment?

Change management lessons from Ford’s Alan Mulally

May 11, 2009

Ford’s chief executive, Alan Mulally, was mocked in 2006 for gathering more than 400 bankers into a ballroom and asking them to mortgage the company’s assets to pay for an overhaul of the carmaker. The cash, he said, would give Ford “a cushion to protect for a recession or other unexpected event.” Here are some take-away lessons from this forward-thinking leader:

Kenny Perry and life as a simple guy

March 13, 2009

PGA golfer Kenny Perry loves cars, golf, his family and his hometown of Franklin, Ky. His dream was to win at the Ryder Cup for Team USA. Perry got exactly what he wanted, and here’s how …