2 October

Global Food Companies: Serving Up Sustainability

Key Lesson:  Solutions to some problems transcend competition — and demand a unified approach. Earlier this week, the CEOs of ten global food companies — many of them longstanding competitors — released a joint letter calling upon world leaders to act swiftly and decisively to address climate change. The letter was the focus of a…

4 September

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, Fisher says, “Design is what…

31 July

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 LucasFilm studios was thwarted by…

10 July

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 businesses. It’s no secret that…

26 June

Taylor Swift: Taking a Stand for Her Fellow Artists

Key Lesson:  It’s possible to take a principled stand and engage in productive dialogue. When Fortune magazine named singer Taylor Swift the most powerful woman in the world earlier this year (she was No. 6 overall), there was a lot of skepticism. But the creators of the list stuck to their guns, noting that Swift exemplifies…

12 June

Larry Page: Taking His Own Advice at Google

Key Lesson:  Take time to connect with your employees. It can really pay off.  It’s no secret that Google employees enjoy some of the best corporate perks and benefits available. Great pay, paternity leave equal to maternity leave, free gourmet food and the welcome mat out for the family dog are just a few of…

15 May

Dominic Barton: Leading the Way to Lasting Value

Key Lesson:  In order to build shareholder — and all stakeholder — value over the long-term, we need to recognize and reward managers who take the long view. When Dominic Barton became global managing director of McKinsey, he had some urgent problems to deal with. The firm’s trust-based culture had led to damaging charges of…

24 April

Mark Benioff: Being Bold on Equality

Key Lesson:  When fairness and equality are at issue, being bold is often the answer. Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff does not shy away from any challenge or controversy. As a pioneer in cloud computing, he’s built substantial wealth and influence in the world of tech and beyond. And he doesn’t hesitate to use that clout….

17 October

Being Serious & Having Fun – Both Are Good!

Key Lesson: Take a stand for what you believe in. You can enjoy life and still take on the difficult problems the world faces. Cosmopolitan is “Fun. Fearless. Female.” So when Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief, executive producer to an unnamed show based on Cosmo, and newly promoted editorial director at Seventeen, tells NPR’s Rachel Martin that…

10 October

Split in Two

Key Lesson: Changing direction from what was once the proven route is often necessary, but never easy. Being adaptable and able to navigate the currents of change will enable you to lead others to success. Our Grounded Leader of the week, Meg Whitman – Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard – surprised the world…