The Leader as Coach

HERMINIA IBARRA Leadership HBR

Once upon a time, most people began successful careers by developing expertise in a technical, functional, or professional domain. Doing your job well meant having the right answers. If you could prove yourself that way, you’d rise up the ladder and eventually move into people management—at which point you had to ensure that your subordinates had those same answers. As …

Take a wrecking ball to those iconic practices

HERMINIA IBARRA Leadership SMR

Here’s what today’s leaders need to do to knock down obstacles to cultural change. Editor’s note: This article is part of a new MIT SMR series about how leadership is evolving in a digital world. Most leaders today are trying to do the same things: help their organizations become more agile, more innovative, more digitally savvy, and more customer-centric. Sooner or later, though, …

Leading law firms in the digital age

HEIDI K GARDNER AND HERMINIA IBARRA Leadership HBR

Law firm leaders must figure out how to guide their organisation through the inevitable process of digital transformation. Leveraging outsiders’ experiences, modernising systems and piloting new approaches, and instilling a learning culture are all essential – but not easy – steps for digital leaders. Artificial intelligence and other emerging digital technologies are undoubtedly poised to disrupt the business models of …

How a new mindset and a massive culture change made Microsoft number one again

HERMINIA IBARRA Leadership LBSR

It wasn’t all that long ago when tech giants like AOL, Yahoo and Blackberry seemed immortal. Today, of course, we remember them only as fallen giants – a fate Microsoft appeared to be headed toward less than a decade ago. That Microsoft was able to fully revive itself when other first-generation technology innovators couldn’t begs the big leadership questions: “What did …

Microsoft: instilling a growth mindset

HERMINIA IBARRA AND ANEETA RATTAN Leadership LBSR

When Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft in February 2014, the company seemed in danger of fading into irrelevance. Now its share price is at an all-time high. How did he do it? By Herminia Ibarra and Aneeta Rattan In less than five years as CEO, Satya Nadella has taken Microsoft from a company perceived as a Windows-centric lumbering giant …

From know-it-alls to learn-it-alls: How leaders can instil a growth mindset

HERMINIA IBARRA AND ANEETA RATTAN Leadership WORK

It’s tempting to stick to what you know. Especially when things are going well. But success in the long run also means knowing when and how to hit “refresh” when you need to come up with new ideas to deal with disruption. Take the example of Microsoft. Back in February 2014, the company was in danger of becoming irrelevant. The …

How to Capture Value from Collaboration, Especially If You’re Skeptical About It

Heidi K. Gardner and Herminia Ibarra Leadership HBR

Many of us recognize intellectually that we need others’ knowledge to solve big problems, yet we still lack the motivation to collaborate. Teamwork all too often feels inefficient (search and coordination costs eat up time), risky (can I trust others to deliver for my client?), low value (our own area of expertise always seems most critical), and political (a sneaky way of self-promoting to …

5 Misconceptions About Networking

Herminia Ibarra Leadership HBR

A good network keeps you informed. Teaches you new things. Makes you more innovative. Gives you a sounding board to flesh out your ideas. Helps you get things done when you’re in a hurry. And, much more (see my recent Lean In video on how networks augment your impact). But, for every person who sees the value of maintaining a …

Intel’s Andy Grove and the difference between good and bad fear

Herminia Ibarra Leadership The Financial Times

The late CEO loved a shouting match but staff knew they could speak up, writes Herminia Ibarra Be scared, be very scared, advised the late Andy Grove. “Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction. Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” Grove’s words, recalled worldwide in the wake of his death last month, are interesting …

What to do when a mentor blocks your career

Herminia Ibarra Leadership The Financial Times

Too many bosses are failing to pull up the promising people below, says Herminia Ibarra “You have to kill the mentor,” said one of my students. A murmur of agreement went round my executive MBAs class. We were discussing the case of a 39-year-old manager who had been promised a big promotion by his mentor but the new post was …