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Archive: November 7, 2010 - November 13, 2010

Cutback proposals pose leadership dilemma for federal managers

The cutbacks the deficit commission's chairmen recommend may go nowhere, of course. Many of their other proposals, from cutting the mortgage tax deduction to increasing the Social Security retirement age, may never gain real traction. But with the wind at the backs of GOP lawmakers, federal workforce reductions--both in size and in benefits--could be tangible. Government employees could see frozen salaries, trimmed retirement benefits and halted bonus levels.

By Jena McGregor | November 12, 2010; 6:01 AM ET | Comments (6)

Hearst's Cathleen Black, and the trend of 'outsiders' as schools chancellors

The pattern of mayors appointing chancellors outside the usual realm of longtime deputy public school system administrators is nothing new. Michelle Rhee's appointment in 2007 to lead D.C.'s schools surprised Washington, as the education nonprofit leader had never run a school--much less an organization anywhere near the size of the city's public school system.

By Jena McGregor | November 11, 2010; 11:24 AM ET | Comments (4)

Google: The risks of giving everyone a raise

Giving a 10 percent salary increase to every single Google employee probably won't do enough to retain the company's best and brightest. And in fact, it could backfire. The company's hardest-working, most irreplaceable people could think all that extra effort is for nothing if their less talented colleagues see the same uptick in pay they do. And that could have them running for the door even faster.

By Jena McGregor | November 10, 2010; 12:48 PM ET | Comments (24)

Obama's 'leadership vs. management' problem

The president, in effect, is confronting an all too classic problem. Obama's "legislation vs. leadership" quandary is not all that different from the "management vs. leadership" dilemma many people in power face. Many leaders aren't very good managers, while many managers don't really know how to lead. To find both qualities in one person--the ability to execute and the capacity to inspire--is exceedingly rare.

By Jena McGregor | November 9, 2010; 10:46 AM ET | Comments (4)

Keith Olbermann's wrist slapping

Olbermann's punishment falls somewhere in the middle. It's understandable that MSNBC felt it had to do something more than get Olbermann to apologize. A rule is a rule, after all. But if it really wants to send the right message to other people who might be tempted to violate it, the discipline wasn't likely to scare many off.

By Jena McGregor | November 8, 2010; 11:47 AM ET | Comments (101)

Time for Pelosi to call it quits as Democratic figurehead?

For better or for worse, selecting leaders is a very symbolic act. Someone may be an effective fundraiser, or a brilliant manager, or a seasoned negotiator; but if they are the wrong face for the wrong time, they have a much harder time being any of those things. With President Obama talking compromise and greater back-and-forth (he hopes) with the newly empowered Republican party, having Nancy Pelosi as the figurehead of the Democratic Congress sends the message that things are unlikely to change.

By Jena McGregor | November 8, 2010; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (44)

 
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