Every day we see or read about superb acts of leadership. The ones that occupy an indelible place in our minds are often characterized by unexpected high-pressure, traumatic conditions and courageous acts taken within a very limited amount of time – a cabbie delivering a baby, a mayor calming a city after one of the worst terrorist attack in the history of mankind, a pilot making the call to land a powerless 65 ton piece of steel on a river in the middle of a major metropolis, a primary school teacher protecting her class from a gun-wielding madman.
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At the risk of adding to my reputation as yesterday’s man, I’m fully supporting Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s ban on working from home. Frankly, there aren’t many of us out there applauding this controversial big play. Several journalists, tech pundits, and business leaders have called her gambit regressive, old-school thinking, anti-family, and a giant step backward. However, none of the naysayers seem to realize that she is faced with a turnaround situation. Ms. Mayer was hired away from Google to reverse 4 years of eroding revenue. Radical change is required. To fulfill any turnaround mandate, a leader has no choice but to initiate substantial cultural and strategic change with a firm hand, not a weak wrist.
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