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Archive: Personal Leadership Journey

The contradiction of Richard Holbrooke

Seemingly all of the obituaries, remembrances and elegies following Holbrooke's death, on Dec. 13, highlight his extraordinary ego (here was a man who coveted the position of Secretary of State from the time he was a young foreign service member in Vietnam) while simultaneously recognizing him for his willingness to advise his young proteges.

By Jena McGregor | December 14, 2010; 01:11 PM ET | Comments (6)

President Obama: The next Clinton, Carter or Truman?

Obama may be pulling a Clinton, and trying to woo independent voters after tough midterm elections. But in 1994, the United States was on the cusp of an extraordinary boom in the economy, and any of Clinton's achievements, no matter how skilled a leader and politician he may have been, must be viewed against that backdrop.

By Jena McGregor | December 10, 2010; 09:25 AM ET | Comments (2)

Florida Gators' coach Urban Meyer calls it quits--right?

I highly doubt Florida will have been Meyer's last coaching gig, or that it'll take him long to find his next one. But the pressure cooker that is any top leadership job is indeed stressful enough for one to want some time off to spend with the people they love but never see.

By Jena McGregor | December 9, 2010; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (32)

Pfizer's CEO resignation: Fatigue sets in

But with such a cult of celebrity built up around top leaders--not to mention the rich compensation they receive--it's easy to see why they get involved in doing so much more. Maybe if CEOs were paid in more equitable terms, they wouldn't feel as much of an obligation to work the inhuman hours and keep up with the insane travel schedules that they, their companies and their shareholders seem to believe will help justify the riches they earn.

By Jena McGregor | December 6, 2010; 02:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Barry Diller's atypical exit

But by saying "this company needs" those qualities in its CEO, readers could easily infer that he thinks the company doesn't have them now. Also odd is the comment that "it's been clear" to him "for some time" that the company is in need of this kind of leader. Unintended or not, the comment will read to some as if Diller hasn't been giving 110 percent, and as if he's known that to be the case for a while.

By Jena McGregor | December 2, 2010; 12:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

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)

The remaking of Murkowski?

Murkowski will be a leader to watch, keeping the possibility alive that she could decide to vote her own way, "pulling a Joe Lieberman" on occasion. She may not owe much to her party. But she may feel she owes at least something to the independents and even Democrats who swung her way.

By Jena McGregor | November 18, 2010; 12:44 PM ET | Comments (27)

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)

Obama's post-election tightrope walk

Obama is walking a high-wire tightrope. On the one hand, he needs to be willing to compromise, course correct and even renegotiate some of what he's already achieved. But on the other, he has to continue to stand by what he believes, and not bow so much to pressure that he ends up abandoning his ideals. After all, Obama did campaign on many, though not all, of the policies he worked on during his first two years in office.

By Jena McGregor | November 4, 2010; 09:55 AM ET | Comments (0)

Weekend reads: The books edition

Weekends reads is back after a hiatus, and just in time for the big fall leadership book season. It's October, the time of year when publishers roll out the tomes they hope will be the blockbuster books of the year.

By Jena McGregor | October 1, 2010; 09:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

Why the pay gap persists

The incredible persistence of the wage gap is a complex issue, one that involves all of the above issues in some way. But I'd argue that until leaders truly adopt family-friendly policies and workplaces--much progress has been made, but more is needed--and until more is done to support working mothers with greater childcare resources, the wage gap isn't likely to budge much more.

By Jena McGregor | September 28, 2010; 12:11 PM ET | Comments (49)

Poor, poor Zuckerberg

I don't believe in the idea that all publicity is good publicity. And maybe I'll change my mind after I view the film and see just how scathing the portrait of Zuckerberg is. But I think people are more forgiving of leaders than we think, and very little can get in the way of a cultural phenomenon like Facebook.

By Jena McGregor | September 23, 2010; 12:22 PM ET | Comments (30)

 
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