For people who were blown away to learn recently that the 11 largest global pharmaceutical companies made an astonishing $711 billion in profits over the last decade, here's another measure of the industry's greed.
How does a leader initially hailed as the second-coming of Steve Jobs, ready to reinvent a 111-year-old staid retailer, crash and burn in such dramatic fashion? If JC Penney's board members had studied Amazon more closely, they might have discovered the answer.
Shareholder season is upon us, marking the beginning of another round of corporate America's dog-and-pony shows held to placate their cronies and pat each other on the back for another profitable year.
Anyone following this mislead will be on the wrong side of working moms, marathoners, the differently abled, the young, the aging, the executive caring for her in-laws, even the single guy with a new puppy!
A new tradition of CEOs stepping aside when they know that there are better equipped leaders for their companies would be a valuable contribution to capitalism. Sometimes -- as Pope Benedict reminded us -- the current CEO doesn't have a prayer.
While not too long ago many CEOs were hipsters, time seems to have taken its toll. These days, most operate as minders of the status quo -- old-school capitalists, equal parts American Dream, ever-higher profits, low or no taxes and "kill or be eaten."
Ms. Mayer's role is not to be satisfied with the status quo, but to shake things up and revive an iconic company that stood on the brink of irrelevance. These are the tough decisions. If Marissa were Matt Mayer, would the response have been different?
The 10 leaders profiled below represent different industries, different disciplines, and even a few different countries, but they all share one thing in common - they're all CEO ready. Meet my predictions (in no particular order) for the next crop of chief executives...
Apple shareholders will meet this week for their annual meeting. No shareholder meeting in recent memory has been this chock full of behind-the-scenes drama, intrigue and lawsuits than this year's conclave. It's clearly the most important week in Tim Cook's stewardship.
Empathy proved especially difficult for me whenever I felt vulnerable. My instinctive response was to protect myself, most often with aggression. I equated aggression with safety, and vulnerability with weakness. Today, I recognize the opposite is often true.
Most bosses have been skillfully coached to conduct themselves in public in ways where they appear to care about building trust despite how they may vary in actual leadership choices. Can there be a more management mantra than "build trust" with key constituents?
Let's face it -- unless you're a U.S. Supreme Court Justice or tenured professor, "job security" is an oxymoron these days.
There are a number of ways to handle this conflict that arises between the maker in you and the manager in you.
Given the amount of time and money invested in presidential searches, and the cost of failure, I'm convinced that the time is ripe for executive search professionals to reexamine how they approach their work and to make adjustments as warranted.
As the year ends, a shout-out for building responsible executive reputation is in order. We are lucky to have leaders like Bill Gates and Bill Clinton who have devoted their next chapters to responsible endeavors that make a difference. Reputations can be burnished in surprising ways.
As Warren Buffett once said, "Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing." No organization wants to run the risk of having leaders who don't know what they are doing and with this year's research, we see some fear that this is exactly what is going on.