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Eileen Fisher and the Aesthetic of Sustainability

Key Lesson:  Aligning your business practices with your vision of the future can create a powerful force for change. When Eileen Fisher started designing clothes in 1984, she wasn’t particularly interested in creating or leading an enterprise. She was interested in designing clothes that were simple and beautiful. Even today,

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Middle Management Saves the Day

Key Lesson:  When experiments fail, be quick to acknowledge the facts and move on. Like any good CEO, Ryan Carson is interested in creating an environment where workers are happy, engaged and productive. And like many CEOs, he experimented a bit when he founded Treehouse Island, an online coding school

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Falling Down and Getting Up

After talking to hundreds of CEOs in dozens of countries, there is one fundamental truth that stands out for me. There is no such thing as stability; the only constant is change and uncertainty. Great leaders must learn two lessons that are critical to their success in life and business:

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Heavy Metal with a Higher Purpose

Key Lesson:  Great leadership is sometimes quiet and courageous. Heavy metal music — and the bands who play it — are usually associated with anarchy, destruction and a certain brand of counter-culturism. In his new book, Dark Days: A Memoir, lead singer and lyricist Randy Blythe reveals an impressive set of

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Zhou Qunfei: Breaking Glass By Making Glass

Key Lesson:  Personal mastery and a desire to learn can take you far. Zhou Qunfei has come a long way from her tiny farming village in China’s Hunan province. As founder and CEO of Lens Technology, which manufactures glass covers for a wide range of consumer electronics, including Samsung and Apple

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George Lucas: Marin Wars, The Sequel

Key Lesson:  Perseverance — and standing firm in the face of opposition — is a key element of great leadership. George Lucas made his name creating the Star Wars movie franchise, but lately he’s been accused of creating an entirely different kind of conflict:  class warfare. When the expansion of

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Lisa Dyson: Asking and Answering Big Questions at Kiverdi

Key Lesson:  Great leaders are always asking questions — of themselves and others. When Lisa Dyson was in high school, she wanted to learn the programming language C, but her school didn’t offer any classes. She asked her math teacher to teach her. He did. Today, Dyson holds a PhD in physics

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Cultural Diversity

I still remember my first trip to Japan. Surrounded by the signs and sounds of Japanese, I felt utterly lost. Unable to decipher even the most basic information in restaurants and on city streets, I retreated into myself. It was hard to stretch into unfamiliar territory. When I asked questions,

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CVS and Target: Competitors turned Collaborators

Key Lesson:  Sometimes friendly competition can lead to shared goals and enhanced value for all stakeholders. Target CEO Brian Cornell and CVS CEO Larry Merlo have known each other for a long time, and they’re in the habit of occasionally having dinner together to compare notes on running their respective

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