Warren Buffett’s Leadership Lessons

  In his annual letter to shareholders this year, three key leadership traits stand out. Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A 0.45% shareholders, released last Saturday, is scrutinized worldwide for economic and investing insights. Understandably so; in 2015 Berkshire had, guess what, another knockout year. Yet I can’t recall ever seeing it read…

Tim Cook and Marissa Mayer Head into Battle

Leadership is often about combat, and today’s news is filled with instructive examples. Leadership is often about combat—that’s why we look to generals and admirals for leadership lessons—and today’s news offers four instructive examples: -Apple CEO Tim Cook vs. the FBI and director James Comey. Apple filed court papers on Thursday in its escalating fight…

What a President Donald Trump Would Mean for the American Economy

The evidence of the past 70 years shows that presidents barely affect the economy at all. I was talking with a group of farmers on Tuesday, and one of them asked me how I thought the U.S. economy would fare under a Trump presidency. I responded that it’s very difficult to say how anything or…

Tim Cook’s Fight with the FBI Goes Way Beyond Apple

  Could any of us be compelled by the government to create something new? Cook is raising the question The fight between Apple and the FBI has become so hot that it has captured the mind of the public, which means that it’s being oversimplified and distorted. In order to evaluate the leadership of Apple…

How the World’s Most Admired Companies Weather Chaotic Markets

Effective leaders let their actions show their confidence in their company. On Friday, Fortune released its annual ranking of the World’s Most Admired Companies, which this year poses an intriguing challenge for leaders: What do you do if your company is greatly admired yet has lost billions in value in this year’s stock market plunge?…

Apple CEO Tim Cook Takes a Bold Stand Against the FBI

  Cook is showing courage and leadership—though that doesn’t mean this will all turn out well. Just a brief note today in praise of Apple CEO Tim Cook. His decision to defy a court order in an extremely high-profile case is probably not as big a gamble as it may first appear, but it’s still…

Scalia’s Death Just Ignited an Ugly War for the Supreme Court

The leadership tests will begin with Obama’s choice of a nominee and everything that will ensue. The Supreme Court vacancy war—it’s more than a mere battle—will be a revealing test of leadership, and you have to wonder if anyone will come out of it looking good. So far everyone involved is just doing what he…

Elon Musk’s Daring Pays Off For Tesla

Tesla is now fully in the big leagues of luxury sedans. The latest news from Tesla TSLA -0.47% reveals new realities about the business environment that leaders in every industry need to understand. The company is circulating a table showing how 2015 unit sales of its Model S stack up against sales of other luxury…

3 Standout CEOs Who Don’t Get Enough Attention

These CEOs are a reminder to keep an eye out for great performance happening outside the headlines. There are excellent leaders, and then there are leaders who get a lot of attention. The Venn diagram of these two sets shows limited overlap. Today, please observe three business bosses whose companies have been in the news…

Donald Trump’s Rude, Reality TV-Style Campaign Is Going to Grow Old

Incivility may be an asset for a candidate, but it’s a major liability for a leader. Nastiness is a bad thing for leaders, but whether it’s a bad thing for presidential candidates remains to be seen. The latest evidence comes in a poll conducted for the Weber Shandwick communications firm and its Washington-based lobbying division,…

The Hardest Part About Running for President

It’s the world’s longest, highest-stakes ironman triathlon. Running for president must be one of the most stressful activities a person can engage in. I realize that firefighters, hostage negotiators, Navy SEALs, and others go through times of indescribable stress, but they pass. Running for president takes two years, and as far as I can tell,…

This Week, Keep Your Eye on Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

The week’s most important news for business leaders may not be found on the business pages. The conventional business news this week will be dominated by earnings, as a raft of high-profile companies report. But the week’s most important news for business leaders may not be found on the business pages (print or digital). Consider:…

Warren Buffett’s way

  Quietly flouting convention has been Buffett’s lifelong m.o. Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of Precision Castparts is the latest example. Over the next three weeks, the media will be clogged with forward-angled articles looking past the Warren Buffett era at Berkshire Hathaway as the legendary CEO and investor turns 85 at the end of the month.…

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Ties Herself in an Ever-Tighter Knot

Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer seems finally to be acquiescing to shareholders’ demands but keeps talking as if she isn’t. In announcing earnings on Tuesday, which weren’t good, board chairman Maynard Webb said the magic words “exploring additional strategic alternatives,” which he said would be “in the best interest of our shareholders.” Translation: The company is…

Iowa Caucus Results: Political Power Is Shifting to the Masses

  If you’re worried about the concentration of power, Monday’s Iowa caucuses was a good day. What does Donald Trump have in common with Aung San Suu Kyi? Absolutely nothing, obviously, except maybe this: On Monday, both illustrated a broad trend about where power comes from, and it may actually be cause for optimism. There’s…

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Iowa Caucuses

  Iowa isn’t a typical state, and its voting procedures are nothing like what voters do elsewhere. Much of the world will be obsessed with the Iowa caucus results on Monday evening, and rightly so. We’re talking about choosing someone for the world’s most powerful and important leadership job. My plea is that, after months…