How Bucky the Bean Counter Created a World-Class Culture at Nike

From a very young age, Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, went by the nickname “Buck.” His father had always referred to him as such, and the name stuck. Even when he ran track for the University of Oregon his track coach, the legendary Bill Bowerman (and Nike’s other co-founder), called him Buck. As Nike[…]

Ulysses S. Grant: 12 Leadership Lessons

1. Find a Profession Where Your Passion Meets Your Purpose. The same man who decisively and strategically lead over a million soldiers through a brutal Civil War, was unable to manage his brother’s leather goods store in Galena, IL in civilian life. Context matters. Grant was not just twice as successful or three times as[…]

If Business is War, Jeff Bezos is a lot like Ulysses S. Grant

In 1861, Ulysses S. Grant was managing his brother’s leather goods store in Galena, IL, having retired from the military seven years prior. When the Civil War broke out later that year, he reenlisted and quickly rose through the ranks. The officers Grant replaced on his meteoric rise to Commanding General of the Union Army[…]

The 8 Best CEOs from the Past 50 Years

In the 2012 Berkshire Hathaway Letter to Shareholders, Warren Buffett recommended the book The Outsiders, by William Thorndike, calling it “an outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation.” It tells the story of eight unconventional CEOs who managed to outperform the S&P 500 by over twenty times. How did they do it? It[…]

Management vs. Leadership

I’m often asked, “what is the difference between management and leadership?”  The best answer I’ve ever heard, and the one I usually give is: Management is about doing things right.  Leadership is about doing the right thing. Like any great aphorism, it is short and memorable.  It does a decent job communicating the big concept,[…]