We've all learned valuable management lessons from the mistakes of BP's chief executive Tony Hayward. Hayward has made a science out of putting his foot in his mouth and claiming ignorance of most matters that took place under his watch. It's certainly not easy being a leader when disaster strikes, but his ineptness and insensitivity makes me think he was probably not a very good leader even before the oil spill occurred.
One of my favorite management experts, Robert Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, is currently working on a book called "Good Boss, Bad Boss" (coming out in September). In a recent blog at Harvard Business Review, Sutton listed 12 key beliefs held by the best bosses. It's a great list and I recommend reading them all , but I'll focus on just a few of my favorites here:
The upset race for the Senate seat of Edward Kennedy in Massachusetts between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown demonstrates how tenuous political support is. Just a short time ago Coakley was way ahead in the polls, but in politics change is rapid. Even President Obama's trip to Massachusetts on Sunday couldn't stem the tide of sentiment against the Democrat's candidate. While studies show that Americans like President Obama personally, support for his policies has declined significantly in his first year in office. People are concerned about jobs, the economy, and the deficit and overhauling health care is not their highest priority.