25 September

Where is the Leadership in Controlling Healthcare Costs? Utah!

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Key Lesson:  Sometimes leadership requires asking simple — yet radical — questions to which there may be no easy answers. It’s been a tough week for anyone trying to understand the economics of healthcare in America. Martin Shkreli, a hedge fund manager turned pharma entrepreneur, bought the rights to the critical drug Daraprim, and then […]

11 September

Queen Elizabeth: Reigning with Resilience

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Key Lesson:  Ritual and discipline can actually increase our ability to improvise and reinvent ourselves. In her classic HBR article on resilience, Diane Coutu argues that resilient people share three distinct characteristics:  Facing down reality, searching for meaning and ritualizing ingenuity. This week, Queen Elizabeth became the longest serving monarch in British history. A big […]

4 September

Eileen Fisher and the Aesthetic of Sustainability

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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 […]

7 August

Zhou Qunfei: Breaking Glass By Making Glass

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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 devices, Ms. Zhou recently broke perhaps […]

31 July

George Lucas: Marin Wars, The Sequel

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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

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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 […]

2 July

Russell Simmons: A Positive Force in Business and in Life

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Key Lesson:  Let the things you love be your guide to happiness and success. Russell Simmons is the quintessential Grounded Leader:  He’s authentic, generous, full of positive emotion, deeply curious, driven to succeed and knows how to maintain a peak performance lifestyle. On top of that, he’s an astute businessman with a wide array of […]

26 June

Taylor Swift: Taking a Stand for Her Fellow Artists

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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

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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 […]

10 December

Would You Like a Pony? Managing Expectations

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A few years ago Ally Bank did a series of clever commercials with children. They all demonstrated how powerful and important expectations are and how we manage (or don’t manage) them with customers, employees and each other. The commercial with the pony captures the essence of psychological contracting. What is Psychological Contracting? Social psychologists who […]