Bill Gates' obstinacy built Microsoft

Today, many people see Bill Gates as a globetrotting humanitarian. But in the 1980s, he was a headstrong entrepreneur. An incident involving company co-founder Paul Allen, a race to catch a flight, and an ill-advised attempt to spontaneously learn jetway mechanics demonstrates what made him so effective.  Read More.


An executive retreat can easily be held on site, as long as the atmosphere is changed in some way to accentuate the casual. Set no hard agendas and have food brought in throughout the day while insisting on a no-cellphones, no-interruptions policy. Break things up with games or unusual team-building exercises, and above all, dress down, putting the emphasis on minds, ideas and camaraderie rather than job titles and image-boosting.


Ask "Z"

Ask "Z"

Replacing lost legend? Go slow, hang back

Q. Last month, I was hired to replace a beloved supervisor who spent 12 years here. She died suddenly. Everyone loved her. The last thing I want to do is come on too strong. But I have to get out from behind her shadow. Any ideas?

Leadership Library: Weekly Feature

Leadership Library: Weekly Feature

Salary Negotiating 101

7 secrets to boosting your career earnings, negotiating a raise and striking the best deal in a job offer negotiation. Download it now

Kevin Eikenberry

Remarkable Leadership with Kevin

What's Behind the Question?

I’ve long felt and taught that one of the best ways to learn better questioning skills was to watch great interviewers. In the past, I’ve often suggested Charlie Rose and Barbara Walters. Now Barbara's mostly retired and Charlie’s gig has changed. Does that mean my advice has changed? Yes, a bit.

Best of the Blogs

Best of the Blogs

Best iPhone apps

Granted, these apps are the picks of Devon Kerr, an 18-year-old. But aren’t teens our go-to people for technology?

Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

Negotiation Coach

Defusing negotiation anxiety

Q. Negotiations make me anxious. In the past year, I negotiated for a car at a dealership, a higher salary at work, a lower price on a piece of furniture at an antiques market, and an important business contract as part of a team. Each time, my palms got sweaty, my heart started to race, and I found the whole process to be unpleasant. What can I do to feel less anxious when I negotiate?

Marie McIntyre, Ph.D.

Ask the Workplace Coach

Arrest on your record? Make employers see beyond the résumé

Q: “My 19-year-old son spent six months in jail for a probation violation. He was on probation because he took our neighbor’s car without permission so that he could go see his girlfriend. Recently, he was turned down for a warehouse position after the employer learned about his arrest during a background check. How should he handle his record when looking for a job?” Concerned Mom 

Learn to quiz staff the right way

Sep. 18, 2014

Quizzing employees on critical facts can help them acquire the knowledge they need. But there’s a right and wrong way to administer one.

Try the Braintrust at your next meeting

Sep. 17, 2014

At Pixar, the movie studio behind blockbusters such as “Toy Story” and “Cars”, Ed Catmull cultivated a culture in which filmmakers could share ideas and opinions in a free-flowing, nonthreatening manner. He devised the Braintrust, a regular series of management meetings where the primary purpose is straight talk.

Grooming cadets for success

Sep. 15, 2014

When leadership guru Jim Collins took West Point’s leadership chair in 2011, he wanted to know how cadets succeed under pressure. They don’t—at first. They keep getting decked and getting back up...

'Yes, and' works better than 'No, but'

Sep. 11, 2014

At first glance, you might not think im­­provisational comedy and organizational teamwork share much in common. But they do.