The Boeing 737 Max problem is a case study in crisis leadership, and though it’s still playing out, we can already say it’s unlikely to be remembered as a model of how to do it. Three errors stand out.
Hardiness and the Courage To Lead How do great leaders find courage in defining moments, while most people don’t? That question has intrigued GEOFF COLVIN for years and led him to spearhead Fortune’s effort to create a different kind of top leaders list in 2014. Last week, Fortune announced the sixth annual World’s Greatest Leaders for 2019. As in the past, this year's list has some names you’ll know and many more that you won’t; but they all share a common trait: “Great leaders never know for sure if their plans will work, but they plunge ahead anyway,” says Geoff. “That’s why we recognize sheer audacity, well-intended, even if the results aren’t known and even if the plans aren’t universally applauded.”
BILL TAYLOR, the co-founder of Fast Company magazine, has devoted his career to studying how the best companies and leaders navigate a world filled with disruptive change: new business models, groundbreaking technology, and so much more. In his three books (the most recent, Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways), Bill highlights the mavericks who have transformed their organizations and become industry disruptors themselves - in banking, in healthcare, in manufacturing, in transportation, in foodservice -- even a parking garage!
For every leader unsettled by rampant disruption, unbounded competition, relentless commodification, and the specter of automation, there is a powerful antidote already inside the organization: the untapped audacity, imagination, energy, resourcefulness, curiosity, eccentricity, and passion of its people. Those fundamental human qualities are the engine of the creative economy—the source of all value. And yet, too few organizations are designed to unleash, mobilize, and amplify that human edge.
It was exactly two years ago today that my most recent book made its publishing debut, so Happy Birthday to Simply Brilliant! (Today is also my wife’s birthday, but in the interest of marital harmony and self-preservation I will not be releasing a number.) I thought it might be helpful to use the occasion of this Simply Brilliant birthday to highlight five things I’ve learned and re-learned over the last two years—lessons on strategy, innovation, and leadership that I believe will allow you, your team, and your organization to thrive in a world where ordinary is not an option. So here goes…
The World’s Greatest Leaders list for 2018 has just been announced by Fortune. Five years ago, GEOFF COLVIN (a long-time speaker on business for D’Amelio Network) led the first-ever effort to create Fortune’s fresh look at leaders through a different lens. It’s not the usual suspects of well-known business and political leaders, but instead, a list that celebrates the passion, commitment, and ingenuity of a surprisingly broad range of those who are making a difference in the world.
COL. NICOLE MALACHOWSKI (USAF, RET.) has an indomitable spirit. Determined from the age of five to fly fighter jets, she went on to a distinguished 21-year career in the United States Air Force and became the first woman to be part of the Thunderbirds, the elite USAF air demonstration squadron. The ultimate high-performance-under-pressure team, Nicole and five other Thunderbirds flew at over 400 mph and 300 feet off the ground – separated by as little as 36 inches. Nicole is a rock star in military aviation and was inducted into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame Museum.
This post, written by Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company magazine and author of the bestselling book Simply Brilliant, is adapted from an essay that first appeared in Harvard Business Review. It was published on December 18th, 2017. The leadership quiz at the end of the article achieved unprecedented interest from HBR readers.
COL. NICOLE MALACHOWSKI (USAF, RET.), a rock star in military aviation, has just joined the D'Amelio Network which will manage her speaking career.
DEVELOPING THE LEADERSHIP PIPELINE I have worked with thousands of executive teams since I left the Navy and one of the common complaints I hear is where to find the time to mentor the next generation. Schedules are double and triple blocked as it is. “I just don't have the energy or the time,” is the common refrain.