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Archive: October 3, 2010 - October 9, 2010

Leaders need to 'pass' on the sports cliches

When the sports analogy gets overplayed, it ceases to be useful. Not because people don't understand it, but because it's more likely to have your people rolling their eyes than feeling motivated to work better or smarter. The manager who talks about fumbling the ball when something goes wrong, or using the hurry-up offense on a competitor, or being in the red zone when quarterly numbers are close to being met sounds like a caricature, not a leader.

By Jena McGregor | October 8, 2010; 6:44 AM ET | Comments (10)

The BP oil spill papers: A case study in management failure

A weakened presidency, heightened national political tensions and the magnitude of the spill all contributed to decision-making meddling from higher-ups. But any organization in crisis often faces the same risk: top executives want to look like they're taking swift action, when really the best course might be simply letting go. The temptation for leaders to wade in--no pun intended--and micro-manage during a crisis blurs decision-making structures, confuses front-line workers and slows down action as everyone waits to see what the higher-ups want now that the traditional process has been shattered.

By Jena McGregor | October 7, 2010; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

Clinton-Biden switcheroo? Not a bad idea

Why not? Rotating executives between top jobs happens all the time in business, and is seen as good management and corporate governance. It's a natural way for leaders to challenge themselves, develop their skills and stretch different management muscles for a few years.

By Jena McGregor | October 6, 2010; 9:49 AM ET | Comments (31)

The softer side of 'Rahmbo' Emanuel?

Kissing too many babies and sitting around too many photo-op friendly kitchen tables may not look authentic, and no matter how much of a buzzword that may be, it really does matter.

By Jena McGregor | October 4, 2010; 10:56 PM ET | Comments (21)

 
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