George Steinbrenner, the late owner of the New York Yankees, was a deeply-flawed leader who achieved incredible results. Like his team, he is loved and hated. Both for good reasons. In this blog post I discuss his astronomical success in transforming the Yankees from a $10 million team into a billion-dollar global enterprise, as well as his countless charitable acts. But I also share stories that illuminate his dark side, like the time he fired his secretary for not bringing his tuna fish sandwich fast enough, and the time he hired a small-time gambler to dig up dirt on his star player Dave Winfield.

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This post talks about behavioral complexity and what I learned from the example Ross Tartell set (click to read more). Read more >
Henry Ford is well known for his influence on the auto industry in particular, but also the way manufacturing is done in general. His assembly lines made it possible to put a “car in every driveway” at an affordable price. He is not the topic of this post, however.

Ford Motor Company’s market share went from a high of 50-60% in the early 1920’s down to 20% by World War II. Meanwhile, GM’s market share jumped from 12% all the way to 50%. It was the leadership of a rival executive (and Ford’s disdain for the management practices this rival instituted) that allowed GM to make such gains. This entry is about that rival executive, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. (namesake of the MIT Sloan School of Management), and the incredible way he managed complexity while leading GM to incredible heights. (And no, the irony of writing about auto execs as great leaders and GM as a dominant company in particular is not at all lost on me.) (Click to read more).
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