A great advantage of a large corporation is supposed to be the large pool of talent in which its leaders can find and groom high achievers and successors.
Once you have power, you are inevitably surrounded by people who have their own agendas and will tell you whatever advances them.
Customers who have to come back and spend, or customers who just don't want the hassle of leaving - those are the ones who are most worth attracting.
Phones and soundtracks and Muzak and fountains replace genuine and unpredictable human contact with a seamless soundtrack from a bad movie and a cliche that makes us believe we must all be happy.
Noise is a buffer, more effective than cubicles or booth walls.
Making a company fit to sell may be the only way to ensure you never need a buyer.
Most executives I know are so action-oriented, or action-addicted, that time for reflection is the first casualty of their success.
Clearing your head of distractions in order to notice and understand the people you are with can feel inefficient - there are so many other people and issues to think about. But being present makes you effective.
Those in powerless positions aren't about to complain about bullying bosses, abusive supervisors or corrupt co-workers. There is no safe way to do so and no process that promises redress.
The medical profession is - and knows itself to be - endemically conservative and conformist.
If the company depends entirely on you - your creativity, ingenuity, inspiration, salesmanship or charisma - nobody will want to buy it. The risk and the dependency are too great.
A great deal of creativity is about pattern recognition, and what you need to discern patterns is tons of data. Your mind collects that data by taking note of random details and anomalies easily seen every day: quirks and changes that, eventually, add up to insights.
Everyone I know feels harassed by email which has invaded their waking and sleeping hours.
The single hardest part of leading any organization is knowing what is going on. There's too much noise in the system, too much complexity: you absolutely depend on people speaking up and raising concerns.
Huge open source organizations like Red Hat and Mozilla manage the collaboration of hundreds of people who don't know one another and have spent no time hanging around the water cooler.
In our house, Mother's Day is every day. Father's Day, too. In our house, parents count. They do important work and that work matters. One day just doesn't cut for us.
I'm all for ambition and stretch goals. I set them for myself. But leadership isn't the same as cheerleading. Believing in something is a necessary but absolutely insufficient condition for making it come true.
If I have to spend a lot of time on planes, I try to think of this as time off. In certain ways, it's more restful than home: no Internet, no phones, no interruptions.
Research shows that when we read words on paper, it reduces our stress levels by nearly 70 percent. We also read more carefully than on tablets or laptops.
I haven't always hated McDonald's. When my kids were little and I lived in the U.S., they were as susceptible as anyone to Happy Meals and tatty toys that subsequently littered our sitting room.