Situational Leadership

Keep talking—you just never know

December 14, 2017

Asked how he convinced his friend Warren Buffett to turn over most of his billions in an enormous donation to the Gates Foundation years ago, software pioneer Bill Gates said he never brought it up.

Could Barefoot have gotten luckier?

November 24, 2017

Michael Houlihan didn’t intend to launch a wine company. It all started by happenstance.

My boss, the hypocrite

November 9, 2017

Q: Our CEO is always telling us to be more open about our failures. He wants us to innovate, and he knows that means some botched experiments. But the few of us who have taken high-profile risks have not been lauded; in fact, he’s privately (and publicly) shamed and embarrassed us. Is there a polite way to call someone a hypocrite?

The leadership of ‘Mattress Mack’

October 31, 2017
Jim McIngvale, known as “Mattress Mack,” turned his two Houston furniture stores into shelters after Hurricane Harvey. The social media was tremendous.

Break big challenge into little chunks

October 6, 2017
“We were only one-tenth of where we needed to be in terms of making progress on this initiative. Our chief operating officer advised me, ‘We’ve got to take on this problem in bite-size chunks.’”

The lesson of a toilet paper snafu

September 28, 2017
Nat Greene was stumped. “I had been trained not to guess, and when one stops guessing, real problem-solving begins,” he says.

Solving ‘unsolvable’ problems

September 15, 2017
One feature of good leadership is that only the intractable problems come to you. As long as you don’t micromanage, you should only be asked to solve problems your people can’t solve themselves.

Conquer fears by giving back

September 7, 2017
As a 17-year-old, Dan Ariely suffered burns over 70 percent of his body in an accident. His willingness to look past his dread of reliving his own horrific experiences has enriched his life in myriad ways.

Calls can get info; faces get action

August 21, 2017
“Despite my pressing them repeatedly to tell me why this had occurred, I never got anywhere and they stopped returning my calls… [T]wo days later I was on a plane to Tokyo to meet with the partner.”

A wellness program saved their sanity

July 25, 2017
After Mark Bonfigli and four colleagues co-founded Dealer.com in 1998, they poured their heart and soul into the startup. And they paid the price. They drove themselves so hard that they became ill.