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Archive: February 1, 2009 - February 7, 2009

Today's Superstar, Tomorrow's Whipping Boy

We pay too much attention to image, and we still don't have search and hiring mechanisms that separate true leaders from celebrities.

By Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.) | February 5, 2009; 12:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Big Business, Big Failures

In Davos as elsewhere, business leaders are failing to take responsibility for the mess they have made of the economy.

By Andy Stern | February 3, 2009; 3:05 PM ET | Comments (2)

Something For Nothing

Any rational person can see that these bonuses for senior managers have nothing to do with either rewarding stellar performance or trying to avoid the loss of exceptional talent.

By Yash Gupta | February 3, 2009; 2:57 PM ET | Comments (1)

Wanted: "Loving Critics"

Wall Street leaders needed someone whispering in their ears: "Handing out bonuses at a time like this is absolutely the wrong thing to do."

By Jim Kouzes | February 3, 2009; 2:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

You Can't Buy Leadership

Leaders get into ethical trouble when their sense of being "special" leads them to believe they are exempt from the social and moral constraints placed on everyone else.

By Joanne B. Ciulla | February 3, 2009; 2:01 PM ET | Comments (4)

Drinking Our Own Bath Water

No matter how big and bad you think you are, there is always someone or something out there that can kick your butt!

By Scott Snook | February 2, 2009; 4:26 PM ET | Comments (1)

Quasi-Government Employees

Bonus numbers that seemed "normal" just a few months ago may be viewed as "obscene" by new stakeholders today. It will take a while for bankers to realize they are now quasi-government employees.

By Marshall Goldsmith | February 2, 2009; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (16)

Shareholder Control

The cure for Wall Street is far greater shareholder rights and controls over total executive compensation.

By Slade Gorton | February 2, 2009; 3:25 PM ET | Comments (2)

Compensation Committees Gone Wrong

Too often, boards of directors allow compensation committees to make unwise decisions, without proper oversight.

By Abraham Zaleznik | February 2, 2009; 3:09 PM ET | Comments (6)

The Tuchman Folly Syndrome

Cultural blindness and a high level of hubris often cause blind spots in organizations and leaders.

By Warren Bennis | February 2, 2009; 3:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Job for the Board

It's not too much to ask for companies to recruit directors with a sense of proportion and the courage to speak up.

By Paul R. Portney | February 2, 2009; 3:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Nurture Your Subordinates

With three simple techniques, senior leaders can prevent the slide to egocentrism and self-indulgence that often leads to "blindness."

By Gen. Monty Meigs (Ret.) | February 2, 2009; 2:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

False Sense of Entitlement

Bank executives seem oblivious to what the public thinks of them and care too much about what other executives think of them.

By Michael Maccoby | February 2, 2009; 2:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

Three Steps to Success

For leaders, the most troubling sort of blind spot occurs when you know that others think differently than you do, and you simply don't care. The inevitable outcome of this is arrogance, and breeds the seeds of its own downfall.

By Barry Posner | February 2, 2009; 1:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

America's Deep Disconnect

In the last 20 years, financial capitalism and social purpose have become deeply divided. To add insult to injury, the media doesn't know how to talk about this wrenching disconnect, fearing sounding like a left-leaning ideologue.

By Alan M. Webber | February 2, 2009; 1:28 PM ET | Comments (3)

Spoiled by the Public

By catering and pandering to them, we the public, have played no small role in creating and nurturing the destructive environment in which CEOs and other big-name figures have become so out of touch with the real world.

By Marty Linsky | February 2, 2009; 1:04 PM ET | Comments (1)

Feeling Good on Wall Street

When it is hard to take pleasure and feel self-worth from the content of a job, it falls to compensation to take up the slack. So arguably, Wall Street desperately needed those bonuses-- it was all about feeling good.

By Roger Martin | February 2, 2009; 12:43 PM ET | Comments (2)

A Tale of Two Cities

A latter day Dickens would say that the bonus backlash tells a tale of two cities which are sharply divided by culture----New York (driven by money) and Washington (driven by power).

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | February 2, 2009; 12:31 PM ET | Comments (1)

Warnings to the President

Former presidents Bush, Clinton and Carter, all told President Obama that it is very difficult to get unfiltered information. Even the most experienced and best-meaning staff members will, to some extent, tell you what they think you want to hear.

By Ed Ruggero | February 2, 2009; 11:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

Tarnished Reputation

Those in America's financial sector continue to operate in the enclosed world of Wall Street, ignoring public opinion and harming the already tarnished reputation of many financial institutions.

By Bill George | February 2, 2009; 11:38 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Arrogance of Power

The higher you go in an organization, the more those around you are going to tell you that you are right. But leaders really ought to get out and experience the world as others see it, and they need to talk less and listen more.

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | February 2, 2009; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (3)

Memo to Wall Street

So it goes for the Wall Street elite: We'll gladly take the credit (and the pay) for good times, but don't blame us (or deny us our bonuses) when things go sour. Welcome to the no-fault economy!

By William C. Taylor | February 2, 2009; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (2)

Back to the Real World

New York is too focused on money and the markets. Washington is too focused on power, position and politics. Both places have grown increasingly out-of-touch and out-of-control.

By David Walker | February 2, 2009; 10:39 AM ET | Comments (1)

Brainwashed Nation

Most of us are repelled today by the obscene bonuses paid to companies, and I am not holding my breath until some limits are imposed on greedy salaries and unlimited bonuses.

By Howard Gardner | February 2, 2009; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (3)

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