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John R. Ryan
Military/Administrative leader

John R. Ryan

John R. Ryan is president of the nonprofit Center for Creative Leadership, a top-ranked, global provider of executive education.

Archive: John R. Ryan

Using social media to enhance authenticity and collaboration

Effective, sustainable leadership has always come down to a few key skills, with authenticity and collaboration high on the list. The Internet age doesn't change what those skills are, but it gives us great incentive to...

By John R. Ryan | February 9, 2011; 10:22 AM ET | Comments (4)

What Mubarak ignored at his peril

It's hard to see how the case of Egypt, where a giant, explosive divide exists between the wealthy elite and the newly energized masses, will...

By John R. Ryan | February 1, 2011; 10:46 AM ET | Comments (3)

The courageous: Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth embodies several leadership traits that we frankly do not see enough of in some of our better-known leaders in business, politics and sports. First, she has plenty to teach all of us about...

By John R. Ryan | December 22, 2010; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (1)

Offer redemption, then show the door

Spending time with my five grand kids always reminds me that children are great mimics. Spending a few minutes with the daily newspaper reminds me that adults are too--and often with far less charming results...

By John R. Ryan | December 15, 2010; 01:39 PM ET | Comments (1)

When culture eats strategy

There's a tendency in struggling organizations to focus on fixing systems and processes, as if structural repairs are all that stands between current problems and success. Certainly, GM did plenty of tinkering over the years, but it wasn't enough. That's because often it's the organizational culture--the day-to-day behaviors and beliefs and attitudes of employees at all levels--that needs changing...

By John R. Ryan | November 17, 2010; 02:35 PM ET | Comments (1)

Govern like you don't care about a second term

Chris Christie's rising popularity points to a lesson all politicians would do well to remember: many Americans feel it's been too long since they've seen politicians who aren't afraid to say what they think and act on it, even if it means risking their political future. Right now Christie is...

By John R. Ryan | October 12, 2010; 10:54 AM ET | Comments (2)

Middle managers just as critical as senior leaders

This year's Best Places to Work in federal government survey finds that top leadership has a stronger impact on worker satisfaction than immediate supervisors. At the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), however, various research projects over the years confirm that immediate supervisors also have a major influence on employee satisfaction and engagement...

By John R. Ryan | August 31, 2010; 10:59 AM ET | Comments (1)

Mulally, turn-around driver

Mulally, being a team player, probably credits his colleagues for Ford's remarkable progress this year - but sometimes a single leader's vision and persistence can jump-start a turnaround.

By John R. Ryan | December 15, 2009; 01:36 PM ET | Comments (1)

A Sign for Obama's Mirror

I have a habit of putting a key reminder on my mirror to read each morning when I'm shaving. President Obama needs to have one that says 53/47, to remind him that nearly half of voters last year still went for his opponent.

By John R. Ryan | August 4, 2009; 11:46 AM ET | Comments (0)

Lessons for Boards

Boards need to do a better job of making sure CEOs understand from their first days on the job that they will be expected to develop solid succession plans across the enterprise.

By John R. Ryan | May 27, 2009; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

Unsolicited Advice

Having served in a variety of leadership roles in the U.S. Navy and in higher education, it's always been my policy after stepping down to offer advice to my successors privately and only when they ask for it.

By John R. Ryan | May 14, 2009; 01:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Ready with a Playbook

It appears public officials have already taken the biggest step toward preventing panic over the swine flu: being ready with a playbook. When a crisis hits, there's no substitute for preparation.

By John R. Ryan | April 30, 2009; 02:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Keen Eye, Good Choices

On paper, the Cardinals have no business being in the Super Bowl, but many more gifted squads and athletes in the NFL will be sitting home watching them on Sunday. The credit goes to Whisenhunt, and leaders can learn from his playbook.

By John R. Ryan | January 27, 2009; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (2)

Raw Ability

He has the first-rate intellect, strong emotional intelligence, confidence and good judgment to be a truly great president, one who will hopefully continue to grow after he takes office.

By John R. Ryan | January 15, 2009; 11:02 AM ET | Comments (10)

Clean Our Own House

We suspect candidates might have ethical shortcomings, but we vote for them anyway with a wink and a nod, believing that just goes with the territory.

By John R. Ryan | December 16, 2008; 09:07 PM ET | Comments (4)

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