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Archive: March 22, 2009 - March 28, 2009

Not Just a Gladiator Fight

The danger in the AIG bonus fiasco is that it allows Americans to channel their anger against others, while not changing any of their own behaviors. Obama's leadership must keep the public thinking about its own role in fixing the crisis.

By Ronald Heifetz | March 25, 2009; 4:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Leading in an Unstable World

Politics are increasingly shaping our lives -- from where we get our oil to who owns our banks -- and business-decision makers and other leaders must become more savvy about political risks, especially as the destabilizing effects of financial crisis unfold around the world.

By Ian Bremmer | March 24, 2009; 3:39 PM ET | Comments (5)

Buck the Tide

As infuriating as the AIG bailout may be, that's not what the president and the Congress should be focused on. Rather, they must find a way -- collectively -- to restore confidence in the financial system of the world's most powerful country.

By Paul R. Portney | March 24, 2009; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Show Me the Values

This is the time to educate, the time to shed some much needed light on a "show me the money" culture that has gotten us to this place.

By Jim Kouzes | March 24, 2009; 9:06 AM ET | Comments (0)

Wall Street Needs Its Own Leadership

Wall Street leaders do not need the president to tell them to condemn rather than reward failure. It's time to return to merit-based pay, the old-fashioned concept that you share in both the gain and the pain.

By Andy Stern | March 23, 2009; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Cool the Anger, Negotiate with Congress

Leaders often must be educators, and President Obama needs to educate the public. Better decisions are made when they aren't based on the kind of overheated emotion we're seeing.

By Yash Gupta | March 23, 2009; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (1)

Taxi Driver Wisdom

On the way to Reagan Airport, the taxi driver had this to say about President Obama: "He should talk directly to those bankers and tell them to stop acting like pigs. And he shouldn't let Congress run the show."

By Michael Maccoby | March 22, 2009; 10:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Telling the Truth Slowly

The president walks a fine line between leveling with the American people about mistakes made, like not restricting AIG bonuses in the first place, and building the support for unpopular but necessary action.

By Bill Shore | March 22, 2009; 10:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Pitchfork Populism

Nothing less than the credibility of public regulation is at stake in the debate over the House bill taxing bonuses. President Obama (and the Senate) must reject the bill and irrational politics behind it in favor of sensible policy choices on fair compensation.

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | March 22, 2009; 10:31 PM ET | Comments (2)

It's Not About "Moments"

Talking about "leadership moments" is another stupid example of the quarterly "short-termism" of Wall Street. We should think in terms of leadership months and years; this is going to be a long haul.

By Warren Bennis | March 22, 2009; 10:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Strategic Pandering

If President Obama did not pander to the crowd on this one, he would have begun to distance himself from huge numbers of people whose support he needs to get his budget, his subsequent recovery plans, and his ambitious domestic agenda enacted.

By Marty Linsky | March 22, 2009; 10:07 PM ET | Comments (5)

Political Courage Required

If Congress passes a retroactive, confiscatory tax on Wall Street bonuses, President Obama should veto it. This requires political courage, something that is a rare commodity in the U.S. Congress.

By Bill George | March 22, 2009; 9:48 PM ET | Comments (12)

Managing, Not Leading

Top-notch leaders are able to turn difficult messes into defining moments, as President Reagan did early in his presidency. President Obama could see the AIG uproar as a golden opportunity -- but so far he has just muddled through.

By Ken Adelman | March 22, 2009; 9:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Walking the Minefield

Leadership is often about making mistakes -- and learning from them.

By Howard Gardner | March 22, 2009; 9:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Stop the Demogoguery

While President Obama has been almost as irresponsible as the loudest voices in Congress, it's not too late for him to show the leadership for which he was elected and become part of the solution rather than of the problem.

By Slade Gorton | March 22, 2009; 9:25 PM ET | Comments (1)

Wean Us from Incentive Myths

The AIG crisis offers a teachable moment for President Obama: He can explain why smart organizations don't rely solely on financial incentives to win, keep and motivate their employees.

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | March 22, 2009; 8:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Practical Solutions for Bonus Problems

The Obama administration and the Congress need to focus on the credit crunch as well as the nation's rapidly deteriorating financial condition, growing structural deficits and over reliance on foreign lenders.

By David Walker | March 22, 2009; 8:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

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