Archive | Leadership

In Business, Informal Tribes Matter More Than Formal Teams

Not long after I joined my last employer, a colleague provided me with an incredibly important insight on how to get things done. Informal networks, she explained, were much stronger than the official hierarchy. Top-down decisions were usually met with questions which delayed their implementation. On the other hand, powerfully-connected people could implement decisions virally…

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A One-Question Test for Narcissism

Do you know someone you think is a narcissist? A narcissistic personality is characterized by inflated views of the self, extreme vanity, and obsessive self-importance. The term comes from the mythical Greek character, Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Entranced by his own beauty, Narcissus stared…

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How Much of Leadership Is About Theater?

For reasons not worth getting into, this past week I was reminded of a decade-old HBS discussion entitled “How Much of Leadership Is About Control, Delegation, or Theater?” The original discussion was prompted by a claim from Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer that leaders only explain 10% of a company’s performance. Instead, a company’s current performance…

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Ogilvy on Leaders

If you are associated with marketing and advertising, you should read The Unpublished David Ogilvy. Actually, read it even if you aren’t. David Ogilvy is widely-considered the father of advertising. He founded advertising, marketing, and PR agency Ogilvy & Mather in 1948, and his legendary campaigns include Dove, Guinness, Hathaway, and Rolls Royce, Schweppes. In…

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