On Leadership
Video | PostLeadership | FedCoach | | Books | About |
Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

PostLeadership

Archive: Economic crisis

What is it about Chris Christie? The benefits of creating a common foe

Christie would likely say that he is only speaking the hard truths about the future of his state and what must be done to get costs under control. But a big reason why his message works so well is that he's found another adversary for voters fretting over their finances. And all the swagger and simple speech in the world isn't quite as powerful as a common foe.

By Jena McGregor | February 28, 2011; 10:38 AM ET | Comments (112)

Ending the stalemate in Wisconsin

Is it better leadership for Walker, the Democratic senators and the union leaders--each in their own separate ways--to hold fast to their principles or find a third way that will bring a stalemate to the end? What is a more effective leadership skill: Steadfast adherence to one's beliefs or the ability to negotiate well?

By Jena McGregor | February 22, 2011; 11:33 AM ET | Comments (16)

Think you can balance the budget?

By putting constituents in her shoes, Purdue is helping them to see that on the heels of a massive recession that has pushed state governments to the breaking point, there are no easy choices. Helping people realize how difficult it is to decide whether to cut spending in education, public safety or social services could help elicit a more cooperative and civil discussion about what to do.

By Jena McGregor | February 17, 2011; 10:23 AM ET | Comments (30)

Boehner's 'so be it' leadership

The president may not be winning any leadership medals for his budget dealings, but the opposition's leader isn't either.

By Jena McGregor | February 16, 2011; 01:08 PM ET | Comments (138)

Why form a debt commission? Obama's budget skirts asked-for advice

One has to wonder why the president would establish a panel of experts and seek their recommendations if their biggest proposals are to be ignored. At the very least, the president could offer a more complete explanation about why some of the commission's major proposals were not endorsed. Even better would have been to offer alternative ways to address some of the big spending areas--Social Security and Medicare, for instance--with equally big results.

By Jena McGregor | February 14, 2011; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (16)

FCIC report: What if the SEC paid like Goldman Sachs?

If regulators were incented to stop fraud and prevent future financial apocalypses on the same scale that traders were rewarded for selling worthless derivatives, we'd surely be in a very different place today. The best talent coming out of our best universities might not immediately be shipping off to Wall Street, but to Washington instead.

By Jena McGregor | January 28, 2011; 09:11 AM ET | Comments (28)

If business should invest during tough times, why not government?

The concept of investing for the future during tough times is one of the most fundamental ideas in business--or leadership, for that matter. Just as CEOs who cut off spending in R&D and employee training during a recession will find themselves slipping against competitors when things turn up again, a country that doesn't invest in education, innovation and infrastructure is likely to quickly fall behind its peers.

By Jena McGregor | January 27, 2011; 08:37 AM ET | Comments (10)

The real question to ask GE's Immelt about chairing the jobs council

How on earth will he have the time? This is a man who already runs one of the largest corporations on the planet, with some 300,000 employees and operations in more than 160 countries. Not only is he CEO of GE, but he is chairman of its board of directors too. Immelt is also on the board of The New York Federal Reserve Bank.

By Jena McGregor | January 24, 2011; 09:54 AM ET | Comments (8)

Wall Street bonuses may drop, but not expectations

The issues surrounding Wall Street compensation will never be resolved by new rules or new laws about how big bonuses can be or in what way people can be paid. The people who work there are smart, and they will find a way around them. The only way any change will happen is for firm leaders--who currently have little incentive to change things themselves--to upend company culture through making tough, bold decisions that overturn years of ingrained expectations.

By Jena McGregor | December 20, 2010; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (6)

When pulling a Clinton 'triangulation,' where Obama should diverge

Call it whatever you want, but Obama is pulling a Clinton-esque move, doing his best to court voters in the middle. Still, by making the tax cut deal the first step toward that approach, he differs in one important way.

By Jena McGregor | December 17, 2010; 12:42 PM ET | Comments (21)

Obama's CEO meeting: 'Uncertainty' an excuse for hoarding profits?

CEOs are increasingly saying that it is uncertainty over the economy and regulations that is prompting them not to spend, or invest toward hiring, the nearly $2 trillion in cash on their books--the highest amount in half a century.

By Jena McGregor | December 15, 2010; 04:05 PM ET | Comments (11)

Boehner's 'cry' for common ground

Boehner may be right that people don't like to give anything up when negotiating a solution--that's why we look to leaders, after all, to hold firm on our most important principles and values, even if it means giving up something of lesser significance. To reject outright the notion of compromise may make the incoming speaker sound like a tough fighter. But if he's left with little common ground, he won't be successful as a leader, either.

By Jena McGregor | December 13, 2010; 12:24 PM ET | Comments (24)

Last-minute Congressional logjam: Few pros, plenty of cons

Whatever the outcome of the bill, and it's not likely to be pretty with that mishmash of agendas, the even more troubling downside is what it says about how our leaders view rules and deadlines in the face of political gain. Putting off tough decisions may help you look better in the short term, but it's hardly leadership. Making the details and intricacies of a trillion dollar budget a top priority that doesn't get pushed to the last-minute, however, is.

By Jena McGregor | December 8, 2010; 01:16 PM ET | Comments (23)

The tax cut deal: Procrastination, not leadership

Both Democrats and Republicans can say there wasn't time for such deliberations with a deadline looming, but both have also known this was coming for years. Then again, carefully planning for the future, as well as tackling the toughest problems first so your successors aren't left with them, takes leadership. And that's been in woefully short supply during the tax cut debate.

By Jena McGregor | December 7, 2010; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (40)

Extending the Bush tax cuts: Human nature?

What does this have to do with the news that the tax cuts are likely to get a temporary extension? Plenty. Those who favor ending the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy seem most worried about what this does to the deficit during the temporary extension, or about what this does to Obama's political fortunes--it was a campaign promise, after all, and many on the Left see such "negotiations" as preliminary caving to Republicans.

By Jena McGregor | December 3, 2010; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (100)

The GOP's lame-duck blockade

Of course, this is the Senate we're talking about here, where politics has become so corroding and divisive that the chamber has nearly lost its capacity to govern. Perhaps the mere expectation from our leaders of multitasking is too much to ask. Yes, Congress needs to set priorities and focus on coming to a compromise on the tax cuts. But to formalize that into a pledge that opposes any legislation the other party proposes is neglecting the rest of their duties and adding even more political kindling to an already explosive situation.

By Jena McGregor | December 1, 2010; 10:26 AM ET | Comments (225)

Bush and Zuckerberg: Leadership soul mates?

George W. Bush and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may not seem like they have a lot in common. One is a mid-60s former leader of the free world who famously called the Web "the Internets"; the other is a hoodie-wearing, twenty-something entrepreneur who runs one of the world's fastest growing technology companies.

By Jena McGregor | November 30, 2010; 12:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Corporate profits hit highest record, so why aren't business leaders creating jobs?

This is not an economics blog, so I won't delve into the financial and policy details of whether it's government's or business's job to, well, create jobs. (It's both, of course.) But it is a leadership blog, and what's quickly becoming a fair question is whether CEOs are showing much of it at all when it comes to taking risks that lead to job creation.

By Jena McGregor | November 24, 2010; 07:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

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; 06:01 AM ET | Comments (6)

What if Bernanke didn't get it right?

We somehow hold faith that our leaders will get us out of our worst crises. That's especially true when it comes to subjects the average person is fuzzy about, like monetary policy and "quantitative easing."

By Jena McGregor | November 3, 2010; 02:55 PM ET | Comments (19)

Wall Street's record-breaking paystubs: Pay for performance? Really?

Someday, hopefully, the financial industry will recognize that while a meritocracy matters, too much focus on rewarding supposed talent will keep creating as many risks as it does rewards.

By Jena McGregor | October 12, 2010; 10:42 AM ET | Comments (14)

The great paradox of the great recession

According to President Obama's new chief economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, the jobless rate in the United States is likely to remain high for a long time. But there's one place where there are plenty of jobs open to fill, and that's the President's economic policy and financial regulatory team.

By Jena McGregor | September 13, 2010; 10:42 AM ET | Comments (8)

Weekend reads, the jobs edition

PostLeadership offers a few reads related to getting, keeping, and creating jobs. If you're so lucky to have one, enjoy it over the next couple of days, something employed folks like to call the weekend.

By Jena McGregor | August 27, 2010; 02:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Thaw in the salary freeze: Too little too late?

Leaders who keep their employees satisfied during the downturn are just as well-positioned, if not more so, to benefit when the economy rebounds. A happy workforce is more likely to waste less, create more and of course, stay longer, all of which saves much more in the end than a few years of not making 2% salary increases.

By Jena McGregor | August 4, 2010; 11:41 AM ET | Comments (3)

AIG's Harvey Golub: Is leaving good leadership?

To put it mildly, AIG has had a hard time keeping CEOs, and Golub couldn't be more correct when he writes that it's "it is easier to replace a chairman than a CEO." If leadership is defined by sacrificing one's own needs--or ego--for the good of the company, Golub is providing it.

By Jena McGregor | July 14, 2010; 10:31 PM ET | Comments (2)

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company