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Archive: Self-Sacrifice

The difference between compromise and negotiation

Politicians might learn something from management and labor negotiators. While both sides may talk tough, seldom does rhetoric...

By John Baldoni | February 15, 2011; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (4)

Strong leaders know when it's time to change

If a leader is the problem, he must step aside. This is hard for an autocrat to do because his view of self is linked to the destiny of...

By John Baldoni | February 1, 2011; 10:12 AM ET | Comments (9)

The brave: Salvatore Giunta

Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta represents the potential in all of us to take actions than transcend our self-interest when the moment requires the best from us...

By Michael Useem | December 22, 2010; 05:38 PM ET | Comments (2)

The givers: Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett

The Giving Pledge is shaping social expectations around wealth and is suggesting an enlightened form of capitalism that redefines personal success...

By Angel Cabrera | December 22, 2010; 03:54 PM ET | Comments (10)

The helpful hands: You and your neighbor?

here were those who helped people trapped under rubble. There were those who helped organize others to find water, set up shelters and care for new orphans. There were...

By Deborah Ancona | December 22, 2010; 03:20 PM ET | Comments (1)

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)

The unknowns: Your manager, perhaps?

I nominate all the leaders--executives, managers, supervisors, team leaders--who fly under the radar. You know the ones I mean. Their staffs, team members and employees rave...

By Carol Kinsey Goman | December 21, 2010; 01:52 PM ET | Comments (1)

The sacrificers: First responders, American troops and Bill Husfelt

It has become fashionable in some circles to deride a lack of leadership. But that is to overlook the service of all the men and women who put themselves in harm's way for the benefit of...

By John Baldoni | December 20, 2010; 04:17 PM ET | Comments (3)

The activist: Aung San Suu Kyi

Suu Kyi has spent 15 of the past 21 years under arrest for her support of democracy in Burma--and yet she has managed to serve as an inspiration for millions of...

By Susan Peters | December 20, 2010; 03:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Obama allowed himself to be politically boxed in

While the left railed against tax breaks for "billionaires," that is not what was on the table. In the end, the president had to compromise because he had staked out a position that was untenable, especially in a time that required providing families with...

By Mickey Edwards | December 6, 2010; 02:23 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)

The federal budget as metaphor

Our values and beliefs are embedded in the numbers, and changing the balance sheet is about changing ourselves. Balancing the budget is not just a realistic reallocation of resources; it is a metaphor for our belief about the American character...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | December 1, 2010; 09:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

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)

Know when to let your members off the hook

She has become the issue, rather than keeping front and center the issues she says she cares about--such as restoring the Democratic majority and keeping the White House in 2012. Her seeking re-election to the post is another example of her putting herself above her party and, once again, doing what no legislative party leader should ever do: forcing her members to make a bad vote that is likely to haunt them two years from now. It is as if she has learned nothing at all from...

By Marty Linsky | November 11, 2010; 05:26 PM ET | Comments (4)

Then and now: Reflections on diversity this Veteran's Day

Although 185,000 African Americans served in the Union Army during the conflict, only white troops made up the 200,000-man procession through the capital of our restored nation.

By Col. Charles D. Allen | November 11, 2010; 10:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

Dismantling the 'maternal wall'

A new study shows that leading women professionals earn less money - and credit - at the office. Here's why we need to talk about it.

By Sharon Meers | July 16, 2010; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (53)

The Highest Example

The heroics of Captain Richard Phillips reflect the expectations of military culture: that a commander is responsible for success and failure. And as Gandhi and Dr. King remind us, such leadership values are universal.

By Col. Charles D. Allen | April 17, 2009; 09:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Protecting Life

By offering himself to the pirates as a hostage, he risked his life to protect his crew. In this time of self-serving leaders, his example is inspiring.

By Michael Maccoby | April 15, 2009; 04:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Going to Jerusalem

Captain Phillips did exactly what he was supposed to do in protecting his crew. Real leadership is going beyond the call of duty, like Anwar Sadat risking peace with Israel -- and paying the ultimate price for it.

By Marty Linsky | April 15, 2009; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

Last in Line for Reward

Personal sacrifice is the currency of leadership, as George Washington, Lincoln, Gandhi, King -- and now Capt. Phillips -- have shown us. Who doesn't get that message? CEOs who took bonuses while their employees suffered.

By Yash Gupta | April 14, 2009; 09:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Female Hero

Captain Phillips demonstrated one kind of heroic leadership: offering to pay the ultimate price to protect others. But women like the colonial women's-rights pioneer, Anne Hutchinson, shows a different kind of courage: sacrificing yourself for a just cause.

By Elizabeth Sherman | April 14, 2009; 07:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Critical Moments

On most days, what is good for our organizations is good for us too. But when collective purpose and self-interest diverge, that is when a person's leadership qualities are laid bare.

By Michael Useem | April 14, 2009; 07:14 AM ET | Comments (0)

Emergency Leadership

In a time of extreme crisis, a leader must be able to instill confidence in followers -- and know that the ones he or she may leave behind will be taken care of.

By Bob Schoultz | April 14, 2009; 06:58 AM ET | Comments (3)

More Instinct Than Analysis

The more taking a bullet is a decision rather than a life mission; self-promotion rather than selflessness, the less likely you are to make the sacrifice, or to be a great leader.

By Andy Stern | April 14, 2009; 06:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

Uncomplaining Courage

The question about Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama brings to mind another sea-faring leader, the polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who endured physical and mental extremes to rescue his own men.

By Ed Ruggero | April 13, 2009; 04:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Culture Teaches Sacrifice

it is reassuring to see a leader sacrifice for his followers. I wonder how Wall Street "leaders" would have acted in this same situation: Perhaps the CEOs might have cut a deal to scuttle the ship for a share of the loot!

By Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.) | April 13, 2009; 02:30 PM ET | Comments (2)

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