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Archive: December 7, 2008 - December 13, 2008

Blame the Boards

Rather than second-guessing the CEOs, let's ask why the boards of directors of these companies have showed so little real leadership.

By Paul R. Portney | December 11, 2008; 9:34 AM ET | Comments (11)

The Deadly Hand of Habit

Success is great -- until it kills you.

By Warren Bennis | December 10, 2008; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (46)

Four Chances for Redemption

The auto executives needed alliances to make the case that their interests are more than self-interests -- and the climate was just right for that.

By Alan M. Webber | December 8, 2008; 9:44 PM ET | Comments (2)

Mobilize Your Constituencies

If a small group of non-profits can rally Congress to action, why can't three major corporations?

By Paul Schmitz | December 8, 2008; 9:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

We Call It "Leadership"

Senior executives are paid to ensure that the company survives in the long-term by making -- and implementing -- choices that preserve the future.

By Charles A. O'Reilly III | December 8, 2008; 9:19 PM ET | Comments (4)

Rally the Troops

Union leader Ron Gettlefinger distinguished himself, but the auto execs should have rallied dealers, creditors and employees.

By Steven Pearlstein | December 8, 2008; 9:07 PM ET | Comments (2)

Less Head, More Heart

In times of turmoil, people support causes they believe in, leaders whom they respect, and arguments that appeal to their hearts as well as their heads.

By William C. Taylor | December 8, 2008; 8:47 PM ET | Comments (5)

Do Your Homework the First Time

Were the executives so cocooned in their power that they forgot how to win others' support?

By T. Owen Jacobs | December 8, 2008; 8:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Most Common Leadership Failure

Their failing is the most common of all leadership failings: failure to marshal support for investments that won't pay off until the long-term.

By Bill Shore | December 8, 2008; 7:52 PM ET | Comments (1)

Learning From Missed Opportunities

Four leadership failures in GM's past paved the way for today's life-or-death crisis.

By Michael Useem | December 8, 2008; 7:41 PM ET | Comments (1)

A Moment for Soul-Searching Honesty

These CEOs need to ask themselves tough questions about whether they should stay and help -- or leave.

By Gen. Monty Meigs (Ret.) | December 8, 2008; 7:26 PM ET | Comments (1)

The Courage To Be Sorry

As Dr. Phil says, "This family needs a hero." Unfortunately, we don't seem to have any.

By Barbara Kellerman | December 8, 2008; 7:17 PM ET | Comments (4)

Radical Surgery Required

A ten-point plan for making General Motors competitive again.

By Bill George | December 8, 2008; 7:08 PM ET | Comments (3)

Admit That You're Broken

The root cause of their problems is hubris: They thought they were immune from even the most predictable challenges.

By Ed Ruggero | December 8, 2008; 6:48 PM ET | Comments (6)

Get a Vision

They bring to the table a vision of the past, rather than some sense of imagination about the future.

By Barry Posner | December 8, 2008; 6:39 PM ET | Comments (6)

Apologize, Resign and Do Good

Leaders who have been negligent and irresponsible should admit their errors, resign their positions, and devote the next period of their lives to doing good work.

By Howard Gardner | December 8, 2008; 6:21 PM ET | Comments (1)

It's Already Too Late

These companies have been failing for years: Why should we think the future will be different?

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | December 8, 2008; 4:12 PM ET | Comments (2)

Don't Ask Congress

If you have a real business proposition, you don't need help from the Congress.

By Paul H. O'Neill Sr. | December 8, 2008; 4:08 PM ET | Comments (3)

More Ambitious Goals

Instead of tinkering around the edges, they should have brought plans to fundamentally retool the auto industry.

By Seth Goldman | December 8, 2008; 4:01 PM ET | Comments (1)

Change the Culture

General Motors can't survive without transformational leadership.

By Michael Maccoby | December 8, 2008; 3:40 PM ET | Comments (2)

The National Security Angle

One cannot prevail militarily with a service economy alone.

By Norm R. Augustine | December 8, 2008; 3:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Won't Get Fooled Again?

It is difficult to give leaders a second chance when they do not clearly admit they were wrong, apologize, and convince us they will not make the same mistake again.

By Joanne B. Ciulla | December 8, 2008; 3:08 PM ET | Comments (3)

Pay for Performance

Executives shouldn't work for nothing: They need incentives to meet their new commitments.

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | December 8, 2008; 2:56 PM ET | Comments (2)

Urgency Required

After failing to innovate, the Big Three need to harness a sense of urgency.

By George Reed | December 8, 2008; 2:35 PM ET | Comments (1)

Be Willing to Step Aside

The auto executives need to provide more detailed information -- and signal that they will get out of the way if necessary.

By David Walker | December 8, 2008; 11:12 AM ET | Comments (1)

Sharpen the Plan

The auto execs have paid their penance. Now have to create a workable strategy for saving their industry.

By Abraham Zaleznik | December 8, 2008; 11:07 AM ET | Comments (1)

Reach Out to Rivals

They could have asked foreign competitors with U.S. assembly plants to support their plea on the ground that a vital domestic industry strengthens everyone.

By Slade Gorton | December 8, 2008; 11:04 AM ET | Comments (1)

Our Panelists

Ambassador Ken Adelman Col. Charles Allen (U.S. Army, Ret.) Mr. Brad Anderson Mr. Rick Atkinson Mr. Norm Augustine Gen. John Batiste (U.S. Army, Ret.) Prof. Warren Bennis Pres. David Boren Mr. John Brademas Mr. Eli Broad Dr. William R. Brody...

By Andrea Useem | December 7, 2008; 10:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

About On Leadership

Leadership is one of those magic things that's hard to define but pretty easy to identify when you see it. And in recent years, it seems to have been in short supply. Now, with the United States engulfed by a...

By Ben Bradlee and Steve Pearlstein | December 7, 2008; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

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December 7, 2008 - December 13, 2008 Archives