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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

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Archive: Economic crisis

Leadership requires balance and fairness

Leadership, above all, depends on fairness and trust. Sacrifice, and doing the hardest jobs in our communities, is done willingly and well when...

By Marie Wilson | March 2, 2011; 05:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

You get what you pay for--even with state employees

Somehow we have come to believe that there is a trade-off between being fiscally sound and paying people well. But that trade-off is mostly a myth...

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | March 2, 2011; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (10)

Governor Walker's tightrope walk

This question presents a false dichotomy: restoring the state's fiscal health and the longer-term challenge of leading a governmental enterprise are not opposing forces that need to be balanced, but instead complementary goals that...

By Coro Fellows | March 1, 2011; 03:40 PM ET | Comments (20)

Different versions of truth

Neither side is able to explore any other options at this point because they have made their current positions sacrosanct. The overarching issue of achieving fiscal health has been lost in the hard-line rhetoric...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | March 1, 2011; 03:38 PM ET | Comments (6)

Managing with unions

Where unions exist in business and government, leaders should be working together to make their organizations more...

By Michael Maccoby | March 1, 2011; 01:57 PM ET | Comments (1)

Painting yourself into a corner

Even if Walker wins, he won't get any extra budget savings, and he's surely going to make it harder to...

By Donald Kettl | March 1, 2011; 08:51 AM ET | Comments (5)

Wisconsin has two fiscal problems

Should he lose--should voters in Wisconsin decide that his policies with regard to public employee unions are too harsh--it will likely be a long time before they will be tried again...

By George Daly | March 1, 2011; 08:46 AM ET | Comments (5)

Don't sabotage your own strategy

If you are going to use a "burning platform" as an impetus for change, then it does not make sense to extinguish the fire before you get what you want...

By John Baldoni | February 28, 2011; 06:39 PM ET | Comments (5)

Walker must win hands down

Nothing Governor Walker can do will cause rank and file union members to implement his taxpayer-oriented policies...

By Slade Gorton | February 28, 2011; 06:34 PM ET | Comments (18)

Unions, the government's low-hanging fruit

It is in management's nature to seek fiscal cuts. It's up to the rest of us, union and non-union members alike, to resist these types of radical changes to our ways of work...

By Amy Fraher | February 28, 2011; 05:21 PM ET | Comments (10)

Gov. Walker is overreaching on some solutions

Irrespective of whether these benefits are bargained or not, there needs to be more transparency regarding the design of these government plans as compared to major employers in the private sector...

By David Walker | February 28, 2011; 05:09 PM ET | Comments (11)

China and the art of communication

Politicians, economists and the media in the United States have connected China's undervaluation of the yuan and its multi-billion dollar trade surplus with a lack of domestic American jobs...

By Coro Fellows | January 18, 2011; 03:35 AM ET | Comments (1)

It's hard to be hopeful

I am still waiting for a talk show host or politician of any political persuasion to say, "I think my rhetoric has been excessive and...

By Howard Gardner | January 11, 2011; 10:42 AM ET | Comments (3)

In the blame game, no one wins

Those who want to redo 2008 to 2010 will see the decisions that contributed to the fragility of the economy and that have locked the country into two intractable wars had their origins well before this time frame...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | January 5, 2011; 10:57 AM ET | Comments (3)

Making good on a promise

Republican candidates almost universally promised to repeal the Obama health-care bill during the course of last year's campaign, and that is a promise they must keep...

By Slade Gorton | January 4, 2011; 11:22 AM ET | Comments (19)

The unsung heroes: Enterprising entrepreneurs

Despite struggling with a recession, a bank crisis, a real estate meltdown, a technology shift, uncertain policy outcomes in Washington and scant access to credit, entrepreneurs persevered in 2010, all the while creating...

By Amy M. Wilkinson | December 30, 2010; 06:35 PM ET | Comments (1)

The U.S. auto revivers: Alan Mulally and Ed Whitacre

The two of them deserve enormous credit for restoring America's automobile industry, just when it appeared that American-owned auto companies were a thing of the past. They are doing it "the old-fashioned way": not with short-term moves and...

By Bill George | December 22, 2010; 04:24 PM ET | Comments (7)

The overcomer: Barack Obama

My reason for choosing him as leader of the year is that he, more than anyone else, has guided, pushed and often persuaded skeptical and independent legislators to...

By Michael Maccoby | December 22, 2010; 04:02 PM ET | Comments (12)

The issue confronter: Bill Clinton

I don't always agree with his politics or his approach, but I think he has shown a willingness to take on the tough...

By Robert Goodwin | December 22, 2010; 03:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

The debt tackler: David Cameron

More than any other world leader, he has not only acknowledged the tremendous challenge and necessity of dealing with a huge public debt but also has proposed specific...

By George Daly | December 22, 2010; 03:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

The community rebuilders: Linetta Gilbert and Kelly Lucas

I have two nominees with whom I have had the privilege of working; both are professionals in the field of philanthropy. They are profiles in leadership and capture the vision, passion, courage, skill and tenacity needed to bring about real community change...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | December 22, 2010; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The reputation riskers: Dick Durbin and Tom Coburn

To me, leadership is an activity, not a person. It is something some people do some of the time; not something some people are or become. No one exercises leadership 24/7...

By Marty Linsky | December 20, 2010; 02:56 PM ET | Comments (2)

Losing sight of Lincoln: A mid-course resurrection to save Obama's presidency

Remember, back in 2008, when everyone compared Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln? After he was elected president, Obama himself talked about what he was learning from the 16th president. Fast forward to today: no one is talking about those parallels. Only the most foolish among us would put Obama anywhere near the rarefied stratosphere reserved for our most revered leader.

By Nancy Koehn | December 8, 2010; 01:04 PM ET | Comments (19)

Betrayal is a potent weapon

The hardest part of all of this is that the people who supported Obama because he promised to fight for the little guy are feeling betrayed. And betrayal is a potent weapon in party politics that Republicans will cash in on...

By Kathryn Kolbert | December 8, 2010; 11:03 AM ET | Comments (5)

Obama's 'Sophie's choice'

The public should not accept such blatant manipulation or tolerate being held hostage by power plays and positional bargaining. This legislation is neither bipartisan nor optimum. Neither party achieved...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | December 8, 2010; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (2)

Playing from weakness

Obama's strength has been in the results he has won; his weakness has been in a failure to communicate his reasoning for accepting less than he has wanted...

By Michael Maccoby | December 7, 2010; 04:39 PM ET | Comments (4)

The tax cuts show progress

This is the essence of compromise, and gives us at least some hope of a constructive next year or so, perhaps even including...

By Slade Gorton | December 7, 2010; 11:56 AM ET | Comments (2)

Obama's authority is suffering

The president looks bad for making sacrifices and gestures, as with the federal wage freeze, and getting nothing in return from the Republicans. All he got was the back of their hand. Who knows. Maybe this will be the slap that...

By Yash Gupta | December 7, 2010; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (7)

Not the right deal to cut

While some compromise is necessary and should be encouraged, this "deal" does not seem reasonable from a fiscal responsibility and social equity perspective. It seems that President Obama is operating from a position of weakness and the Republicans from...

By David Walker | December 7, 2010; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (10)

Obama needs to take a stand

Obama looks like an individual without strong values for which he is willing to go to the mat--except for the value of mediation and compromise, which does not work when you occupy a role that requires decisions and the appearance of decisiveness...

By Howard Gardner | December 7, 2010; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (4)

On tax cuts, pragmatism vs. principle

The Democrats had an opportunity to tell a story about the tremendous pain that withholding the unemployment extensions could cause to millions, pain which the Republicans were willing to inflict it in order to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy. Yet the debate...

By Coro Fellows | December 7, 2010; 08:22 AM ET | Comments (14)

Compromise is king

Standing up for what you believe to be the right decision is the very definition of leadership. But standing tall for every idea you have is delusional...

By John Baldoni | December 6, 2010; 05:10 PM ET | Comments (2)

Grow up, Washington

We've become a nation of immediate gratification, which has contributed to the current economic debacle, coupled with leadership in Washington that refuses to make the very bold decisions that can right our economy again...

By Alaina Love | December 6, 2010; 04:30 PM ET | Comments (3)

Gridlock has its rewards

It's tragic what Obama has to endure from Republicans, or they from him, or all of us from all of them. So what's new? Our political system was designed thus...

By Ken Adelman | December 6, 2010; 04:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Another kick-the-can solution

If we ever plan to avoid excessive debt, either Republicans will have to demonstrate the courage to raise taxes or Democrats will have to demonstrate the courage to cut spending...

By Marshall Goldsmith | December 6, 2010; 03:04 PM ET | Comments (2)

Sacrifice a little now or a lot later

Both parties want to reward their wealthy contributors, who make up the "elite" and possess no real understanding of how successful nations sustain their greatness--which is by maintaining a meritocracy, where anyone with hard work and smarts can...

By Don Vandergriff | December 6, 2010; 02:59 PM ET | Comments (8)

Equal-opportunity pain delivery

We really do not want our politicians to exercise leadership. We want them to take care of us and deliver any pain that is necessary to someone else. That's why we have...

By Marty Linsky | December 1, 2010; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (3)

We need more government sacrifice

President Obama's move to freeze federal workers' pay and soon-to-be Speaker John Boehner's jettisoning of his private plane are wise moves, but they are mostly symbolic. Our leaders need to be willing to do more and cut our spending down to the point we are just about to hit bone...

By Robert Goodwin | December 1, 2010; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (6)

Looking for love from an unloving public

The only successful way to ensure that Congress will swallow the bitter pill is to have them authorize a neutral group to make the tough decisions and then make sure that Congress is prohibited from making changes to...

By Kathryn Kolbert | December 1, 2010; 09:42 AM ET | Comments (4)

Laud the White House, not Woodward Ave

A mess as big as GM's could not have been fixed this quickly without the U.S bankruptcy code that allowed GM to wipe out its debt and the millions of dollars infused into the restructured company by the Obama Administration. This took guts and calm at a time when there was no good economic news and vigorous political opposition...

By Kathryn Kolbert | November 15, 2010; 01:18 PM ET | Comments (5)

First, focus on jobs

Unfortunately, the midterm elections contain no good news for President Obama and the Democratic party. The mantra that Bill Clinton never forgot--"It's the economy, stupid"--must become President Obama's mantra as well. The disastrous losses in this midterm vote gives the White House a perfect opportunity to refocus on...

By Kathryn Kolbert | November 1, 2010; 04:19 PM ET | Comments (7)

Defusing our fiscal time bomb

It will be interesting to see whether President Obama and the new Congressional leadership can pivot after the elections in a manner that will allow some progress in defusing our fiscal time bomb. It clearly is in our nation's interest for them to do so, and hopefully they...

By David Walker | October 26, 2010; 09:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

Four lessons from Christie

In observing Governor Christie, we can learn how being direct and even aggressive has an appropriate place and time in the repertoire of a leader. In anxious and uncertain times, those most affected often perceive a leader's desire for collaboration as a weakness; a more authoritarian style is palatable, even preferred, by those wanting security. In these times of severe economic...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | October 13, 2010; 11:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

Voters don't know or care about the 'traditional process'

Currently most voters are unhappy with their lot and with the direction of the country. Accordingly, anyone in office, irrespective of what office or what they've done in office, will be on the defensive. Rest assured, no matter what they had done or not done, Fenty and Obama would be on easy street if unemployment were at 4%.

By Howard Gardner | September 15, 2010; 10:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

The unconvential performance idea that works

Great performance results from a person being pushed just beyond his or her limits through activities that can be repeated at high volume with a great deal of feedback.

By Geoff Colvin | May 19, 2010; 09:38 AM ET | Comments (1)

When values are a liability

What are the gaps in our educational and social curriculum that make it acceptable for some of our most influential business leaders to forget their duty to followers?

By Columbia University students | April 27, 2010; 05:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

Failed leaders

The leaders of Goldman Sachs have failed. Not just in their business practices, but in their integrity.

By Coro Fellows | April 27, 2010; 01:02 PM ET | Comments (1)

What we mean by 'socially responsible'

For much of its existence, the American people simply haven't understood how Goldman operates. Now, that luxury is no longer an option -- Goldman must explain itself better.

By Robert Goodwin | April 27, 2010; 12:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

'Customer interests first' - really?

Goldman needs to admit their mistakes and somehow convince clients they will "put customers' interests first." The surest way to accomplish this would be to actually keep their promise this time.

By West Point Cadets | April 27, 2010; 11:25 AM ET | Comments (4)

Innocent until proven guilty

To Senator Levin and others who are using their pulpits to shape public opinion before all of the facts come out, shame on you.

By Scott DeRue | April 27, 2010; 11:18 AM ET | Comments (5)

Being 'legal' doesn't make it 'right'

What Goldman did in the past may have been "legal" under past standards but a different standard of "what is right" should apply in the future.

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | April 27, 2010; 10:24 AM ET | Comments (4)

Regulators can't restore trust

The more Goldman demonstrates that they understand the public's frustration and articulates a plan for change, the better positioned it is to attract and retain clients.

By Erika James | April 27, 2010; 06:45 AM ET | Comments (2)

Post-IPO deception

By most accounts, so long as Goldman Sachs was a partnership, it behaved in a professional manner and was justifiably respected for its behaviors.

By Howard Gardner | April 27, 2010; 06:34 AM ET | Comments (1)

Fire the leaders

Goldman Sachs might be better positioned for the future by asking of its current leadership, 'Are these the right people to have driving the bus?'

By Alaina Love | April 27, 2010; 06:28 AM ET | Comments (3)

Is this the face of capitalism?

You could think about Goldman Sachs the way most of the world thinks of the United States of America.

By Alan M. Webber | April 27, 2010; 06:17 AM ET | Comments (11)

Don't blame the business schools

We all want to blame someone for the financial crisis, and business schools make an easy target. But hardly it's fair to pin collective blame on business schools for those few bank managements who bet the shop and lost.

By Sir Andrew Likierman | April 26, 2010; 04:26 PM ET | Comments (9)

The business of fleecing others

The better job Goldman Sachs does in explaining exactly what its business is, the more outraged regulators and the public will be.

By Roger Martin | April 26, 2010; 02:23 PM ET | Comments (22)

Final Four: Bracketing our way to economic recovery?

The NCAA Tournament can serve as a model for fair business competition and cure some of my post-econopocalypse cynicism.

By Lisa Larson | March 31, 2010; 03:48 PM ET | Comments (1)

Doing smarter with less

Fewer resources make all of the basics even more important: focusing on strategy, nurturing talent, insisting on accountability.

By Bill Shore | January 8, 2010; 04:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Five 'musts' for leaders

You are not alone. Abandon the dangerous delusion that you alone can solve the problem with one wave of the wand.

By Warren Bennis | January 8, 2010; 06:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Grown-up rewards

If all else fails in motivating your people, follow my wife's advice and give them chocolate!

By Ed O'Malley | January 7, 2010; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (6)

The engaged leader

It is direct engagement - not memos, emails and videos - that spawns empowerment and innovation.

By Bill George | January 7, 2010; 10:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

'Get'er done'

Highly successful leaders are those with the ability to build teams that can meet and conquer challenges.

By Col. Charles D. Allen | January 6, 2010; 03:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Start with gratitude

Employers should not only express their appreciation and debt to employees but also make good on that debt when business improves.

By Joanne B. Ciulla | January 6, 2010; 01:46 PM ET | Comments (2)

Distributed leadership

Leaders need to be visible, tell the truth, say what they know, and what they don't know, and say it over and over again.

By Deborah Ancona | January 6, 2010; 05:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

Setting the example

Harry Truman got right to the point when he said, "A leader is someone who can get other people to do what they don't want to do and like it."

By Patricia McGinnis | January 6, 2010; 05:42 AM ET | Comments (0)

Fewer followers, better results

Managers vastly overestimate the incremental value of additional hires and underestimate the cost.

By Roger Martin | January 6, 2010; 05:32 AM ET | Comments (45)

Why do we work?

Assembly-line workers during World War II were highly motivated because they were helping to win the war. The same work in peace time would be boring.

By Michael Maccoby | January 6, 2010; 05:21 AM ET | Comments (3)

Don't forget hope

People need to feel that the corner will be turned and that conditions won't always be so difficult.

By Yash Gupta | January 5, 2010; 09:06 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Kindergarten lesson

In a time when external rewards, like bonuses, may be in short supply, internal motivation will be key.

By Coro Fellows | January 5, 2010; 06:20 AM ET | Comments (10)

Winning over the troops

At Agincourt, Shakespeare's King Henry V motivated his 6,000 exhausted, starving men by binding them together as a group and hitching their efforts to a higher cause.

By Ken Adelman | January 5, 2010; 06:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

The scientific method

Execute, learn, modify, improve, and accelerate.

By John H. Cochran, MD | January 5, 2010; 06:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

Well-managed chaos

If cost cutting wrapped up the last decade, this decade should be launched by innovation, stimulated by the friction of diversity.

By Beth A. Brooke | January 5, 2010; 05:59 AM ET | Comments (1)

Motivation from within

Leaders, recognize that the ultimate motivation for your employees and followers comes from inside them - not inside you.

By Marshall Goldsmith | January 5, 2010; 05:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

Alternative rewards

With increased work and no additional pay, leaders must be creative in finding other ways to reward good employees.

By Bob Schoultz | January 5, 2010; 05:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

No ostriches, no elephants

Leadership begins with honestly understanding employees' feelings and honoring those concerns with consistent, direct communications.

By Barry Salzberg | January 5, 2010; 05:37 AM ET | Comments (1)

Got your game on?

Even the finest Kentucky Derby winner needs food, water, rest and encouragement.

By Alaina Love | January 5, 2010; 05:30 AM ET | Comments (3)

Coaching your team

Small to medium-size businesses are carrying the brunt of the recession, and 2010 will continue to be a challenge for most of us.

By Gen. John Batiste (Ret.) | January 4, 2010; 02:36 PM ET | Comments (0)

The magic of fellowship

Soldiers do not fight and die for abstract concepts, but will go to extraordinary lengths for their buddies.

By George Reed | January 4, 2010; 02:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Mission and metrics

Hopefully you right-sized your organization last year. Now's the time to focus followers on your common mission.

By Andy Stern | January 4, 2010; 02:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

Lean thinking

If all you want to do is cut costs, then you don't need a leader; you need an accountant.

By Robert Bruner | January 4, 2010; 01:13 PM ET | Comments (9)

Invest in development

At GE we invested more money and time in leadership development as we laid people off.

By Noel M. Tichy | January 4, 2010; 01:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

What's that light?

Employees need to see there is light at the end of the tunnel and that it's not a train.

By David Walker | January 4, 2010; 01:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

We are all hedge-fund managers

If every CEO, military commander, or fund manager were brought to trial for raising hopes that were dashed after the fact, we'd need jails on every street corner.

By Paul R. Portney | November 13, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (8)

No Downside to Greed

Private-sector pressures on Wall Street business leaders mean we are unlikely to see significant change in the business culture, and appropriate government intervention will be necessary.

By Kurt Schmoke | September 18, 2009; 06:29 AM ET | Comments (14)

Celebrate the Heroes

Bring out those who have had the courage to buck Wall Street trends and help them to change the game.

By Deborah Ancona | September 17, 2009; 07:02 AM ET | Comments (2)

Don't Fight Regulation

The best we can hope for is that some far-sighted bankers will work with the Congress rather than fight it in crafting legislation that will incentivize transparency, accountability and longer-term thinking on Wall Street.

By Marty Linsky | September 16, 2009; 07:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Education Without Ethics

To change Wall Street, business schools should include ethical leadership as a core component of their curricula.

By Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.) | September 16, 2009; 07:13 AM ET | Comments (8)

A Las Vegas Illusion

Wall Street has only one prerogative and that is to maintain the illusion that it adds value so that it can charge spectacular sums for its services

By Roger Martin | September 16, 2009; 07:05 AM ET | Comments (54)

Earning Isn't Leading

Wall Street often equates people who know how to earn high wages with people who know how to lead.

By Joanne B. Ciulla | September 16, 2009; 06:59 AM ET | Comments (4)

A Jamie Dimon Model

Changing behavior at financial institutions requires leaders with a clear philosophy, starting with a statement of purpose that translates into how employees are expected to act and how results will be defined and measured.

By Michael Maccoby | September 16, 2009; 06:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Society Before Shareprice

Wall Street has a lesson to learn from its neglect of the big picture. Now it's up to the government to ensure that there is transparency on Wall Street.

By Yash Gupta | September 16, 2009; 06:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

Surviving the Good Times

Given that we suffer from over-confidence when things are going well, company executives and directors can require a culture of caution and a mindset of continuous improvement.

By Michael Useem | September 15, 2009; 11:51 AM ET | Comments (1)

Channeling the 'Animal Spirit'

Business organizations must be designed-to check greed, stupidity and corruption and to channel capitalism's "animal spirits" into sustained, durable creation of real economic value.

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | September 15, 2009; 06:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

Shoe-Leather Strategy

The more virtual the world gets, the more personal and approachable leadership has to be.

By Barry Salzberg | September 15, 2009; 06:51 AM ET | Comments (1)

Twelve-Step for Wall Street

If the leaders of the U.S. business community were your friends or relatives, you'd stage an intervention after their long series of drunken orgies stretching over the past 30 years.

By Alan M. Webber | September 15, 2009; 06:40 AM ET | Comments (7)

Shareholders First

Wall Street leaders have a duty not to the "long-term health of the economy," but to their shareholders. If they work toward that interest, the national economy is almost certain to benefit.

By Slade Gorton | September 15, 2009; 06:36 AM ET | Comments (7)

'What Would Happen If...?'

Scenario planning -- relentlessly asking "what would happen if?" -- should be a vital part of leadership in any industry, but it is a particularly essential discipline in financial industry.

By Tom Monahan | September 15, 2009; 06:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Question of Purpose

We have seen plenty of piracy, now where is the stewardship? Is it even possible to change the culture to a more sustainable perspective?

By George Reed | September 14, 2009; 03:18 PM ET | Comments (1)

Aligning Rewards and Hopes

If newly minted MBA grads wanted to help the world achieve "long-term health," they would have become medical doctors! The reward system has to change first.

By Marshall Goldsmith | September 14, 2009; 03:09 PM ET | Comments (26)

A Larger Vacuum to Fill

Moral leadership in the global financial arena will take years to regain, and Wall Street and Western governments need to respect practices in foreign markets that may challenge the classical understanding of open markets and capitalism.

By Raju Narisetti | September 14, 2009; 02:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Less Welch, More Aristotle

Business schools need to become educational institutions, not just trade schools.

By Mickey Edwards | September 14, 2009; 02:01 PM ET | Comments (4)

Still Time for Mea Culpas

Personally I am dubious that Wall Street will heal itself, but the culture may change if top leaders take responsibility for the crisis.

By Howard Gardner | September 14, 2009; 01:01 PM ET | Comments (1)

The Answer Lies in Washington

Congress must strengthen our financial regulatory system so that someone is looking out for "systemic risk."

By Paul R. Portney | September 14, 2009; 12:43 PM ET | Comments (8)

Reversing 'Group Think'

The high-risk, high-reward pay structures of Wall Street over time drive diversity out of a workforce, leading to dangerous group think.

By Beth A. Brooke | September 14, 2009; 12:34 PM ET | Comments (3)

Incentivize the Long Term

Let us create a greater financial and regulatory framework that reduces risk, values assets realistically, and incentivizes long-term over short-term profits.

By Andy Stern | September 14, 2009; 12:18 PM ET | Comments (1)

The Talented Mr. Blankfein

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was one of the few CEOs who spoke out candidly about causes of the financial crisis. For his credibility, and that of his industry, he should demonstrate how "meaningful change and effective reform" are being applied.

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | July 21, 2009; 01:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Adopt a Nonprofit

What if each major corporation "adopted" a nonprofit, leveraging its IT, logistics and marketing talent to serve a worthy cause? Integrating altruism into a core business model brings a proven competitive advantage.

By Robert Goodwin | July 21, 2009; 11:03 AM ET | Comments (3)

The Teachable Moment that Wasn't

Nobody knows how to interpret what's happening in this next chapter of the uncharted economic drama we're now witnessing -- except our Teacher-In-Chief, who seems otherwise occupied.

By Alan M. Webber | July 21, 2009; 10:54 AM ET | Comments (13)

Focus on Service

If banks and other financial institutions focus on service rather than making quick bucks, people are more likely to appreciate them and furthermore, they are more likely to prosper.

By Michael Maccoby | July 21, 2009; 10:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

Freeze Top Salaries

It would be smart for bank leaders to announce that salary increases to the top-third salary earners be frozen until the banks show four consecutive quarters of profits.

By Warren Bennis | July 20, 2009; 02:32 PM ET | Comments (2)

Money from Taxpayers' Pockets

The response of these companies' leaders has to begin with transparency. They should promptly volunteer information about how they're making their profits and how they plan to use them.

By Yash Gupta | July 20, 2009; 02:28 PM ET | Comments (1)

Prove What You Have Learned

If they are no longer the problem, banks should become part of the solution by communicating lessons learned and keeping the struggles of their customers in mind.

By John H. Cochran, MD | July 20, 2009; 02:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Human Leadership, Not "Business" Leadership

Bank leaders with a concern for country, and not just corporation, should thank workers, reign in risk and donate money either to charity or the Treasury.

By Mickey Edwards | July 20, 2009; 01:10 PM ET | Comments (1)

Now, Turn to the Future

The heads of the healthiest financial institutions need to work with the U.S. government to ensure the U.S. does not find itself back in a similar meltdown in the years ahead.

By Bill George | July 20, 2009; 01:03 PM ET | Comments (1)

Give a Billlion Dollars

With the banks' financial deficit erased with federal assistance, now is the time for their executives to also erase an enormous leadership deficit.

By Michael Useem | July 20, 2009; 12:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

No Second Helpings of Greed

Why not use some of your creative world class financial skills to offer new products, services, and support for the middle class who are struggling with their mortgages, debt, or your failed investments?

By Andy Stern | July 20, 2009; 12:51 PM ET | Comments (1)

Take Some Heat

Financial-industry leaders must be personally more aggressive and visible in their outreach programs to the public.

By Gen. Monty Meigs (Ret.) | July 20, 2009; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

Learning From Goldman Sachs's "Catalysts"

With Goldman Sachs now posting profits, it's clear that succeeding in the downturn means not hunkering down but getting out there with new ideas and taking advantage of the present uncertainty.

By Jeanne Liedtka | July 13, 2009; 01:10 PM ET | Comments (7)

Recession Leadership Is About More Than Cutting Costs

Hyundai figured out car customers need financing assistance, while wireless companies are rolling out more prepaid plans. A large part of succeeding in this recession is finding innovative new ways to respond to the new problems of consumers.

By Geoff Colvin | June 18, 2009; 01:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Don't Get Political

The president's willingness to expend political capital to protect GM from political pressures--and risk the vagaries of the marketplace--will determine the administration's new role as its dominant shareholder.

By Marty Linsky | June 5, 2009; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

What Taxpayers Want

I don't trust the government to make good business decisions any more than I trust the former leaders of GM. The government's role in GM should be to focus on ensuring good governance and business practices, and not business strategy decisions.

By Bob Schoultz | June 3, 2009; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

What We Don't Know

The recent enormous outlays of taxpayer money for General Motors' survival provide a great opportunity for the government to learn to keep tabs on our money and use it wisely.

By Ed Ruggero | June 2, 2009; 12:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Risky Investment

The administration is like the gambler who doubles his bet after every unsuccessful roll of the dice. It has so much invested in GM now that it can't be anything other than the principal shareholder.

By Slade Gorton | June 2, 2009; 11:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

Avoiding the Technical

The government should express its broad desires to see new models that are more fuel-efficient, more environmentally friendly and more in line with the kind of vehicle that fits our future.

By Yash Gupta | June 2, 2009; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Stay Involved

The government--and taxpayers--must play an important role in choosing top GM's top leadership and stay involved in matters like oversight, transparency, and emissions. We must ensure that GM is using our investment to make cars people want to buy.

By Warren Bennis | June 2, 2009; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (1)

Set Broad Goals

On a day to day basis, it makes no sense for the federal government to "operate" General Motors. Instead, the administration should set broad goals, establish ambitious energy and environmental objectives and oversee important management decisions.

By Alan M. Webber | June 2, 2009; 09:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

Not Our Business

In General Motors' case, the government's actions may result in an oxymoronic situation: although the government pledged not to control GM, taxpayers could ultimately have majority ownership of the company.

By David Walker | June 1, 2009; 03:23 PM ET | Comments (2)

Bring the Best Minds

The government cannot run GM operations, but it can make sure that it has the best possible leadership. One way to do this is to organize an advisory committee that is not dominated by financial types but which includes experts on auto companies.

By Michael Maccoby | June 1, 2009; 03:00 PM ET | Comments (0)


With the help of outside thinkers, the government should monitor strategic thinking and plan to measure progress in restoring profitability.

By Abraham Zaleznik | June 1, 2009; 01:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

"Hands Off" Has Failed

General Motors board members, including Uncle Sam, must demand major changes and accountability for greatly improved performance from companies that made so many bad decisions.

By Elizabeth Sherman | June 1, 2009; 11:51 AM ET | Comments (7)

Governance Traditions

Short of a crisis, owners try to keep their hands off the operations they own. But well-established precedent shows that even hands-off owners must stay vigilant to ensure their mission is achieved.

By Michael Useem | June 1, 2009; 11:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Buyer of Last Resort

Although there will be some conflicts of interest, I think they will prove to be better sound bites for the "drift-toward-socialism" crowd then a significant problem.

By Andy Stern | June 1, 2009; 11:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

Hands Off? Not Likely

To pretend that a 60% owner of the business will be totally "hands off" is not credible. My suggestion is that the government be honest with both GM and the public on their planned for level of involvement.

By Marshall Goldsmith | June 1, 2009; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Lesson From the Military

A parallel can be drawn between the ousting of GM's Rick Wagoner to the firing of some of the most highly accomplished senior leaders in the military due to the challenges at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

By Col. Charles D. Allen | April 6, 2009; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cheap and Easy Way Out

The ouster of Rick Wagoner and instillation of Fritz Henderson was odd and primarily signal-based rather than instrumental.

By Roger Martin | April 6, 2009; 11:49 AM ET | Comments (0)

Risky -- and Necessary

Organizational change almost invariably requires the turnover of senior leadership, even though it is disruptive and particularly so when outsiders come in.

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | April 3, 2009; 01:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Beheading Is No Cure

Removing Wagoner sends a clear signal, but in this case removing the head will not cure the patient. It's time for an industry outsider to bring sweeping changes to this failed industry.

By Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.) | April 1, 2009; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Fire the Board Too

Wagoner's dismissal and the firing of most board members should have been a condition of the initial bailout.

By Pablo Eisenberg | April 1, 2009; 10:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

Real Bottom-Up Change

Removing a leader is a good way to signal change, but it will not necessary lead to change. Employees and others at the organization have to be ready for dramatic change for a leadership change to be effective.

By USC Students | April 1, 2009; 10:01 AM ET | Comments (1)

Designing a New GM Leader

GM categorizes its leaders as "finance guys" and "car guys" (engineers). Maybe GM needs another leader category, such as a cheerleader/salesman like Lee Iacocca to restore confidence in the company.

By Joanne B. Ciulla | April 1, 2009; 09:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Case Against Public Hangings

Wagoner's main failure -- to lead adaptive change -- had many "parents" throughout management and labor within GM and the investment, political, and consuming communities that fed into GM from outside. He shouldn't just be a scapegoat.

By Ronald Heifetz | March 31, 2009; 03:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Now It's Obama's Responsibility

While it is reasonable for GM's de facto board of directors -- the U.S. government -- to fire Wagoner, the Obama administration will now be responsible if Wagoner's successor fails.

By Slade Gorton | March 31, 2009; 03:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Simple Fairness

Corporate compensation culture of the last 10 or 15 years holds that when things go even moderately well, a handful of people at the very top of the company benefit the most. It's only fair those at the top should bear responsibility for failure.

By Paul R. Portney | March 31, 2009; 02:58 PM ET | Comments (1)

A Record Unblemished by Success

On a Navy ship, the captain is responsible for whatever happens on board. In the corporate world, unfortunately, too many boards of directors make excuses for leaders who fail. Wagoner had to go.

By Ken Adelman | March 31, 2009; 09:55 AM ET | Comments (1)

No Other Choice

This isn't like firing a coach after one bad season. This firing a leader who has been losing every season of this decade.

By Warren Bennis | March 31, 2009; 09:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

No "Savior Leader" Here

It would be ridiculous to put the failure of GM at the feet of Mr. Wagoner or any other individual CEO, and, if there are no substantive changes in the GM system, we'll likely be examining his successor's failure in short order.

By George Reed | March 31, 2009; 09:42 AM ET | Comments (0)

Why was Wagoner Fired?

The president has yet to articulate how things are going to be better with Rick Wagoner out and a new executive in.

By Yash Gupta | March 30, 2009; 05:54 PM ET | Comments (12)

Ungraceful Wagoner

If Wagoner had any grace, he would have resigned months or even years ago. But so many of current leaders-- political as well as business-- live in bubbles removed from reality.

By Howard Gardner | March 30, 2009; 05:43 PM ET | Comments (2)

Questions for GM

Firing Wagoner is a strong signal that under his leadership GM performed poorly. But replacing him with someone whose talent is controlling costs won't cut it.

By Michael Maccoby | March 30, 2009; 03:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

It's About Accountability, Stupid

A new age of GM accountability is dawning, but how will it work is in execution, not just in planning.

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | March 30, 2009; 03:10 PM ET | Comments (3)

A Mere Wake-Up Call

It is too bad the President did not find a way to fire the Board as well. There is little or no evidence that GM is prepared for the new reality.

By Marty Linsky | March 30, 2009; 01:49 PM ET | Comments (6)

Change Must Come From the Top

The problems at GM have been decades in the making, but Wagoner did nothing to alter the course of the company's decline.

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | March 30, 2009; 01:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

One CEO Overboard

The administration threw one CEO overboard; will that fix the problems?

By Mickey Edwards | March 30, 2009; 01:19 PM ET | Comments (2)

Let's Avoid a Cultural Clone

The real challenge for GM will be to find a transformational leader from outside GM. Otherwise, we will simply be getting a cultural clone.

By Noel M. Tichy | March 30, 2009; 01:10 PM ET | Comments (1)

Change At All Costs

While leadership changes should be based on merit, sometimes there is a need for a change at the top in order to facilitate more dramatic changes and to enhance confidence among all key stakeholders.

By David Walker | March 30, 2009; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (1)

Doubts About Talent

Why else fire the CEO unless there are a multitude of doubts about his talent?

By Abraham Zaleznik | March 30, 2009; 11:19 AM ET | Comments (1)

Tough Management is Good Politics

The perception of tough management of taxpayer's dollars is both a strong signal and good politics. It just might help some bankers hear the drums beating, start to cancel their private jet orders, and shelve any new creative bonus strategies.

By Andy Stern | March 30, 2009; 11:14 AM ET | Comments (1)

Every Right To Call the Shots

In essence, the Unites States government and the taxpayers now own General Motors - and have every right to call the shots. A CEO is never more powerful than an owner.

By Marshall Goldsmith | March 30, 2009; 11:08 AM ET | Comments (3)

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)

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; 09:40 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; 03:00 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; 02:52 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; 02:45 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; 01:49 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)

Everyone Is Watching

Hard times are when the values of an executive team are measured, and here's my advice for acting wisely.

By Kent J. Thiry | February 13, 2009; 09:41 PM ET | Comments (1)

Listen to Employees

When it comes to cutting costs at Klein Steel Services, we involve employees and take their ideas seriously.

By Gen. John Batiste (Ret.) | February 11, 2009; 10:21 AM ET | Comments (1)

Circuit City's Example

The most humane thing that employers can do when they downsize or go out of business is also the most obvious: Help employees find new work, as Circuit City is doing.

By Joanne B. Ciulla | February 10, 2009; 03:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Emotional Leadership

If you are laying off workers and compassion isn't your thing, there are plenty of good business reasons to dust off your under-used empathic skills.

By Ed Ruggero | February 10, 2009; 10:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Danger in Layoffs

The desperation to reduce payroll can replace rational thinking, but arbitrary layoffs can mean losing good workers who are essential to the survival of the company.

By Yash Gupta | February 10, 2009; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (1)

Honest Tea, Layoff-Free

We're fortunate in that our 11 years in business, we've never had to have layoffs. In fact, we recently posted 14 open positions, which means a 16 percent increase in the size of our team.

By Seth Goldman | February 10, 2009; 09:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

Cut Hours, Not Heads

Companies might consider cutting back on employee hours rather than reduce headcount, especially if the employees involved are critical to the entity's future success.

By David Walker | February 9, 2009; 02:35 PM ET | Comments (1)

No Sugarcoating, No Spin

The standard practice of downsizing in corporate America these days are driven by lawyers and HR directors, who are often blinded by short-term vision.

By Steven Pearlstein | February 9, 2009; 02:21 PM ET | Comments (2)

Fire Yourself

If you are doing the firing, take a moment to imagine you are on the receiving end. Such exercises in compassion, research shows, can lead to better practices.

By Michael Useem | February 9, 2009; 12:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Brutal Realism, Honestly Explained

From my experience in the post-Cold War downsizing of the aerospace industry, my advice is: Act decisively but with compassion, knowing that people can cope better with bad news than uncertainty.

By Norm R. Augustine | February 9, 2009; 12:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Layoffs Are Not Productive

Unless it is absolutely necessary to save the firm, laying off employees to generate cash from their unpaid salaries is counterproductive.

By Gen. Monty Meigs (Ret.) | February 9, 2009; 12:06 PM ET | Comments (2)

A General's Advice

In large organizations, people can become numbers on a spreadsheet, especially during downsizings, but such depersonalization does not engender loyalty and commitment from employees.

By George Reed | February 9, 2009; 10:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Protect Core Capabilities

When the U.S. Army downsized in the late 1990s, it kept a tight focus on core capabilities, while recognizing that its most valuable asset is its people.

By Col. Charles D. Allen | February 9, 2009; 10:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

Seeing the Individual

Layoffs are unavoidably painful, but organizational leaders can help the newly unemployed keep a sense of self-worth by offering job forums, counseling or other services.

By Kurt Schmoke | February 9, 2009; 10:24 AM ET | Comments (0)

Ease the Pain

There is of course no "right" way of downsizing, but a few methods will help its victims make a smoother transition.

By Warren Bennis | February 9, 2009; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Talking with the Troops

President Obama has set an impressive example for leading through hard times: keep in regular touch with your troops and share the good, the bad and the ugly.

By Howard Gardner | February 9, 2009; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (0)

Left Behind

Don't be like the pharmaceutical company that recently laid off workers by e-mail: How you fire people communicates a message to those still employed.

By Marty Linsky | February 9, 2009; 09:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

Best Buy's Choices

At Best Buy, we have implemented both voluntary separations and involuntary layoffs. In both cases, we have remained committed to a culture of transparency.

By Brad Anderson | February 9, 2009; 09:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

Downsizing Doesn't Work

As one executive said, "It took us two months to decide to do layoffs, two weeks to do it, and two years to recover."

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | February 9, 2009; 09:32 AM ET | Comments (6)

Hiring Time

Eliminating a percentage of jobs across the board makes no business sense: some divisions may be growing. In fact, with so unemployed talent, it might be time to hire.

By Marshall Goldsmith | February 9, 2009; 09:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

Creative Alternatives

Rather than lose the good will and talent you've built up over the years, consider alternatives like job sharing, transfers, counseling, or retraining.

By Andy Stern | February 9, 2009; 09:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

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; 03:05 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; 02:57 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; 02:34 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; 02:01 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; 04:26 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; 03:30 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; 03:25 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; 03:09 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; 03:05 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; 03:02 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; 02:38 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; 02:06 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; 01:50 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; 01:28 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; 01:04 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)

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; 09:34 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; 09:44 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; 09:29 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; 09:19 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; 09:07 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; 08:47 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; 08:00 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; 07:52 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; 07:41 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; 07:26 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; 07:17 PM ET | Comments (4)

Radical Surgery Required

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

By Bill George | December 8, 2008; 07:08 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; 06:48 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; 06:39 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; 06:21 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; 04:12 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; 04:08 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; 04:01 PM ET | Comments (1)

Change the Culture

General Motors can't survive without transformational leadership.

By Michael Maccoby | December 8, 2008; 03:40 PM ET | Comments (2)

The National Security Angle

One cannot prevail militarily with a service economy alone.

By Norm R. Augustine | December 8, 2008; 03:20 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; 03:08 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; 02:56 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; 02:35 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)

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