Actor Michael J. Fox, 30 years old when he began dealing with Parkinson’s disease, has now written three best-selling books and raised $285 million for Parkinson’s research as well as continuing his acting career. His life offers three ways to continue leading despite adversity.
When Maestro Wolfgang Heinzel stands before the Merck Orchestra, he may look like an authoritarian leader, commanding musicians from his podium. But Heinzel doesn’t actually know how to play the instruments himself—“in the same way a leader in an organization can’t do everyone’s job,” says Jon Chilingerian. Here is what maestros—and good leaders—understand.
The chief purveyor of hip-hop culture saw opportunity everywhere, even in the earliest days of rap. “You’d be happy to work with somebody,” he says, “but nobody wanted to work with you.” Since then, Simmons has made millions launching businesses nobody else believed in across media, fashion and banking, all catering to an underserved market.
The Navy classified Larry Zeiger 4-F because of his bad eyes. His friends had all joined the service, so he was left behind, wandering aimlessly. The young man wanted to go into broadcasting. Zeiger finally landed a job as a radio disc jockey and a new name five minutes before the show: Larry King.
Predicted to earn more than $100 million in 2011, Lady Gaga is the latest darling of the leadership industry. Why? Because she has built a powerful brand and legions of followers by exuding charisma. A case study points out that Lady Gaga projects leadership by telling “three universal stories.”
At the center of all the advice to stop talking and start listening stands a premier example: Barbara Walters. The interviewer’s list of “gets” is a mile long and her genius has been to show her subjects she cares about them. She never engages in a battle of wits, never tries to win an argument and does not interrupt. The result is information no one has.