Your Feelings About Donald Trump Have Less to Do with His Words than You Think

To some, Trump’s distinctive speaking style shows he’s authentic. To others, it shows he’s reckless. Donald Trump’s gaffe of the day on Wednesday was his statement that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions in the event that abortion is made illegal. The immediate global uproar forced his campaign…

The Jobs Conundrum That Trump and Clinton Will Likely Ignore

Neither candidate has offered a clear policy to help Americans adapt to a fast changing work world. The issue of jobs is going to be a minefield for both parties’ presidential frontrunners. Will Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump dare to think about it creatively and campaign on it unconventionally? We’ll hear more about it on…

Grading Yahoo’s Board

  CEOs get all the attention, but boards are where the important leadership is or isn’t happening. On Thursday, Starboard Value Fund’s Jeff Smith pulled the trigger on his threatened attempt to wage a proxy fight at Yahoo, and he’s firing a large-caliber weapon—attempting to replace the entire board of directors. It’s the latest action…

What John Legend and Pope Francis Have in Common

  And why they both made our World’s Greatest Leaders list. Especially striking in our new ranking of the World’s 50 Greatest ­Leaders is how many of them you may not recognize. In our media-saturated, personality-obsessed global culture, how can that be? Yet it is so, and that’s what makes this group so heartening. It…

The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders

  Demagoguery, pandering, even populism aren’t leadership. Here’s what is. Especially striking in our new ranking of the World’s 50 Greatest ­Leaders is how many of them you may not recognize. In our media-saturated, personality-obsessed global culture, how can that be? Yet it is so, and that’s what makes this group so heartening. It turns…

We Look to the Fed to Fix the Economy Because Congress Is Broken

The Fed is the only policymaker left to watch. In a familiar ritual, all eyes will be on the Fed next month to see if it raises interest rates, after Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank president Dennis Lockhart said he thought conditions looked favorable for an increase. But hold on—let’s take two steps back and ask…

Barack Obama and Apple’s Tim Cook Separately Try to Break New Ground This Week

Obama’s visit to Cuba and Cook’s latest product announcements are forays into high stakes territory. It’s a busy week in the world of power and leadership. Four events will be especially revealing: -Obama in Cuba and Argentina. The president’s historic visit to Cuba, begun on Sunday, will rightly get more attention than his stop in…

Republicans Just Can’t Catch a Break

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are feeling the heat. Like the rest of us, leaders have good days and bad days, only the beta is bigger, as Wall Street traders say – the ups rise higher and the downs plunge lower. Thursday was a bad day for three leaders: -Mitch…

The Surprising Slowdown in Startups

New research finds that high-growth young U.S. firms are in decline. What if the conventional view of startups and entrepreneurship in the U.S. turns out, like so many conventional views, to be wrong? Substantial recent research suggests that it is. So brace yourself for decidedly counterintuitive findings that may help explain some of our era’s…

GM’s Mary Barra Continues to Surprise, and Impress

So far, Barra has offered several reasons to be optimistic about the auto giant’s future. I continue to be impressed by Mary Barra’s leadership of General Motors GM 0.85% . Time and again she causes me to smite my forehead, at least figuratively, and ask, “This is GM?” The latest example is GM executive Michael…

How the Republican Party Could Have Stopped Donald Trump

Different rules might have spared Republicans this forced march to likely defeat in November. The Democratic nomination is about locked up after Tuesday, while the Republican nomination is not. Regardless of who ends up as the nominee—I refuse to make a prediction, having been surprised by pretty much everything that has happened so far—the Republican…

Marriott’s CEO Must Confront One of the Biggest Tests of His Career

The Marriott-Starwood merger is in jeopardy, with a new, higher offer from China’s Anbang Insurance. It’s crunch time for Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, and we’ll get a close-up view of high-stakes leadership over the coming weeks. In general terms his situation is one we’ve seen many times. He has a deal to buy another company,…

Yahoo Just Gave Marissa Mayer Some Major Help

  Yahoo is preparing for a potential proxy fight with Starboard Value’s Jeff Smith. Four high-profile leadership stories advanced significantly on Thursday. All have been developing for years. Here’s what’s happening now: -Yahoo added two new directors on Thursday, indicating that CEO Marissa Mayer and the board will continue to battle Jeff Smith’s Starboard Value,…

Here’s Where Big Companies Are Now Looking for Talent

  Employers know how to value recruits. Now some are applying that approach to their own workers. So-called acqui-hires—buying a startup for the purpose of hiring its talented people—have become common among the likes of Apple AAPL 0.60% , Google GOOGL 1.26% , Microsoft MSFT 1.50% , and Facebook FB 1.18% . The result is…

4 Economic Doomsayers You Can’t Afford to Ignore

  A few causes for concern within the market and the global economy overall. Wise leaders seek out voices they don’t agree with and news they don’t like. Right now, as always, such voices and news are out there if we look. When the good times were rolling in 2006 and 2007, few people wanted…

Peyton Manning and the Republican Primary: Knowing When It’s Time to Quit

The best leaders know there are times when the wisest move is to step down or step back. Winners never quit and quitters never win, say some motivational speakers, but that’s a poor message for leaders. In real life, the best leaders know there are inevitably times when the wisest move is to step down,…

Why Donald Trump Is Winning and Bernie Sanders Isn’t

Trump faces four rivals. Sanders faces one who has spent years building an air of invincibility. What’s the difference between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders? That’s a real question, not the set-up for a punch line, and here’s what I mean. The two are in many ways remarkably similar. Each is trying to become his…

What Donald Trump’s Rise Teaches Us About Leadership

Leadership is not noble or evil. It’s a tool that can be used for any number of purposes. I was having lunch a few days ago with an executive headhunter and a couple of colleagues, talking about the leadership issues at major companies, and as we left, one of them said, “We should congratulate ourselves—we…