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Archive: March 15, 2009 - March 21, 2009

Take One For the Team

In times of adversity, demonstrating the ability to "take one for the team" and "lead by example" is not only responsible, it is essential.

By Suzanne Nora Johnson | March 19, 2009; 3:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Defending "Business Values"

I've always argued to fellow military leaders that the business world values selflessness and service to others, just like the military. But AIG makes this defense very difficult.

By Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.) | March 19, 2009; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (1)

Recession Heroes

George Jones and the staff of Bread for the City, who deliberated together about how to weather budget cuts, set an example of how to handle this economic crisis with grace and dignity. They are true leaders.

By Kathy Kretman | March 19, 2009; 9:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

Climb Out of Your Wall Street Box

The culture of AIG and much of Wall Street is so narrowly focused on winning, that, ironically, the very risk takers who bet on leverage now seem risk averse as they argue that bonuses are necessary to retain talent and avoid chaos.

By Patricia McGinnis | March 19, 2009; 9:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

Outrage Is an Unaffordable Luxury

People are upset about AIG bonuses, and we know Congress is going to run with that. But the Obama administration cannot afford the luxury of outrage. The challenges they face are simply too great.

By Ian Bremmer | March 18, 2009; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (16)

Dangerous Obfuscation of Facts

Both AIG and the Obama administration seem to have been oblivious to the combustible nature of the bonuses and they compounded the problem with terribly inadequate communication. The real danger is losing public and political support for further reform of the financial system.

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | March 18, 2009; 2:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Don't Lead the Lynch Mob

Rather than join the public hysteria over the AIG bonuses, government leaders should put the issues of taxpayer ownership and compensation in front of the public before the issue catches fire.

By Paul H. O'Neill Sr. | March 18, 2009; 2:45 PM ET | Comments (1)

Fire the Bonus-Takers

The roots of our financial crisis are complex, but the right and wrong of the AIG case are very clear. Workers who created the mess and want to accept bonuses are bad guys who should be fired. Those who refuse the bonus and stay to clean up the mess they created are the good guys.

By Roger Martin | March 18, 2009; 1:49 PM ET | Comments (3)

How AIG Went Blind

Optics--how things look--matter, and if leaders lose their ability to see the world through others' eyes, they ought to consider getting some counsel from those who can and do see the world differently.

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | March 18, 2009; 12:36 PM ET | Comments (2)

Flying Coach

When cuts are being imposed on employees in times of hardship, leaders should not take pay cuts along with the employees. They should take them before the employees.

By Norm R. Augustine | March 18, 2009; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (0)

Method Behind the Madness

This economic crisis offers an important chance to rethink the value and pay of leaders in all areas, and organizations might be able to end the pay arms race that has not always given us leaders with the values that we want for our organizations and institutions.

By Joanne B. Ciulla | March 17, 2009; 12:17 PM ET | Comments (2)

An Open Secret

College sports is big business. Would it be appropriate for the coaches to decline these million-plus salaries? Probably not, but the press needs to offer the public more details on an open secret.

By Elizabeth Sherman | March 17, 2009; 12:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pay Cuts for All

All of us should share in taking a pay cut - leaders in all three sectors should engage in this involvement in rebuilding the healthy society that cares about all of its people.

By Frances Hesselbein | March 17, 2009; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Great Pay, Great Responsibility

The credibility and sense of belonging that comes of shared sacrifice could help an organization come out of this crisis stronger than before. Executives have to lead, if that is to happen.

By Bob Schoultz | March 17, 2009; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (2)

Give Back

College coaches who make more than full professors at their schools should think about giving up some of their salary to support struggling sports programs or sports scholarships.

By Slade Gorton | March 16, 2009; 1:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Calhoun's Leadership Moment

While Jim Calhoun defended his high salary down the last time, a hospital administrator in Boston led an emotional call for belt-tightening in the organization to protect low-paid workers. Here's what we learn from these two leadership moments.

By William C. Taylor | March 16, 2009; 10:48 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Officer Should Eat Last

When executives take pay cuts, it makes a more powerful statement about their leadership than words could ever convey.

By Michael Useem | March 16, 2009; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (2)

Pay Cuts: More Than Just a Gesture

A pay cut has the symbolic value of showing that a leader cares about the hardships of those hurting from the economic recession.

By Yash Gupta | March 16, 2009; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

Team Players Needed

As a leader or coach, sending the message that you are "looking out for number one" runs counter to the message we need, especially in tough times: That teams must pull together to win.

By Barry Posner | March 15, 2009; 10:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Who Bears the Burden?

Unlike AIG employees receiving bonuses, college coaches and university leaders are not responsible for the economic downturn. But they should consider cutting their own salaries to protect those in a weaker position.

By Paul R. Portney | March 15, 2009; 10:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Emotional Slam Dunk

We experience the financial crisis emotionally, not just rationally. Therefore, the willingness of leaders to tangibly acknowledge the stress their people are experiencing is a central element of sustained recovery.

By Marty Linsky | March 15, 2009; 10:17 PM ET | Comments (0)

Encouraging Flexibility

Cutting wages is an important way to avoid lay-offs, and any leaders calling for such measures should begin with themselves.

By Roger Martin | March 15, 2009; 10:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

College Coaches Versus CEOs

Exceptional coaches have high salaries because they create winning teams and make money for the colleges that pay them. Many CEOs whose companies have had losing years can't claim the same justification for their huge salaries and bonuses.

By Michael Maccoby | March 15, 2009; 10:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Uncommon Leadership

Leaders should share the hardships of their comrades and see to the needs of their followers before attending to their own. Such selfless leadership unfortunately seems to be a rarity in many organizations today.

By George Reed | March 15, 2009; 9:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Private Acts

If you are going to voluntarily take a pay cut, it might be even more impressive to do it privately -- instead of publicly.

By Marshall Goldsmith | March 15, 2009; 9:54 PM ET | Comments (0)

March's True Madness

Sharing in the pain of budget cuts is both a symbolic and appropriate response to the economic crisis. "March Madness" would be ignoring the team responsibilities we have as leaders and Americans.

By Andy Stern | March 15, 2009; 9:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Share the Pain

Research shows that a common fate and a set of shared experiences is the best way to build a cohesive unit -- and that's precisely what is required to meet the competitive challenge many companies now face.

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | March 15, 2009; 9:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Earn Less, That Others May Work

Leaders in public institutions don't need to take a vow of poverty. But earning more than two or three times as much as the U.S. president is hardly a vow of poverty.

By Howard Gardner | March 15, 2009; 8:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

Integrity Has Many Forms

Coach Calhoun has been successful over the long run by playing by the rules and not cheating. So here's to integrity and values, no matter how they are lived and expressed.

By John H. Cochran, MD | March 15, 2009; 8:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Walking the Leadership Walk

One of the expense-reduction measures that we at Klein Steel are prepared to execute is salary and wage cuts, but you can bet that we will start with the senior leadership of the company.

By Gen. John Batiste (Ret.) | March 15, 2009; 8:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

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