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Jena McGregor

Jena McGregor

Staff writer Jena McGregor teases out the leadership issues in the day’s news.

Tom Fox

Tom Fox

Guest contributor Tom Fox, of the Partnership for Public Service, writes weekly about issues in the federal workplace.

Lillian Cunningham

Lillian Cunningham

Lillian Cunningham is the editor of On Leadership and writes features for the section.

Posted at 11:21 AM ET, 06/07/2012

Women leaders receive Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards at Kennedy Center

Eight women leaders traveled to Washington to receive the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards at the Kennedy Center on Wednesday. (Dayna Smith - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

For the first time in the 11-year history of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards, Hillary Clinton couldn’t make it.

A trip to Turkey kept the Secretary of State from attending the awards ceremony, held at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House on Wednesday evening, but it didn’t keep her from appearing on screen to deliver a taped greeting to the 2,000-plus guests and eight female honorees in the theater that night.

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By  |  11:21 AM ET, 06/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  leadership, women, hillary clinton

Posted at 06:25 PM ET, 05/08/2012

About ‘On Leadership’ at The Washington Post

At the Washington Post, our hope is that On Leadership will serve as an open and lively forum for a discussion of what makes for great leadership. Over the years, there have been many books written on the subject, and there are now a good number of academic programs and consulting firms that study and teach it. The world is also full of successful leaders who have developed their own sense of what works and what doesn’t. Our aim is to tap into that knowledge and experience and apply it, in real time, to an online conversation about real-world developments.

Discussions about leadership most often are conducted in the context of specific fields of endeavor — government and politics, business, the arts, education, the non-profit sector, sports and the military. At On Leadership, our mission is to break down the walls between silos by getting experts and readers with varying backgrounds and perspectives to address the same topics at the same time and at the same place.

To this end, the section features a number of content types, from our daily Post Leadership blog and biweekly video series to Q&As and guest op-eds. If you are interested in contributing to On Leadership, read our “Contributor guidelines and submission information” section below.

Meet On Leadership:

Lillian Cunningham is the editor of On Leadership. She is also the interviewer for our video series and the long-form feature reporter for the section. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @lily_cunningham.


Steven Pearlstein is a Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist for the Washington Post. He is the founder of On Leadership and a current adviser and contributor to the section. He can be reached at

Jena McGregor authors the Post Leadership blog, providing daily leadership analysis on issues, events and public figures currently in the news. She was formerly an editor of management content for BusinessWeek. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @jenamcgregor.

Interested in contributing to On Leadership?

We publish a select number of guest pieces and consider submissions on an ongoing basis.

Article length is flexible, but typically ranges between 500 and 1,000 words. We are particularly interested in two types of pieces: Those that offer timely analysis to advance the depth and thoughtfulness of a discussion in the news, or those that highlight new research in the fields of leadership, management and psychology.

We rarely publish op-ed pieces on company news or prescriptive pieces along the lines of “10 ways to be a better leader.” Instead, regardless of topic, we are interested in pieces that upend, challenge, surprise and enrich the way we think about ourselves and the world around us — and what it will take to lead both to a better place.

Articles ideas and suggestions for topics or interview subjects can be sent for consideration to Op-ed proposals can either be full drafts or take the form of a short pitch. Due to the volume of submissions, we unfortunately are unable to respond to all queries.

Finally, we are always interested to learn more about what On Leadership readers think of our section. We welcome your feedback, ideas and questions — and we hope you’ll continue to engage with us on the On Leadership site, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Launched in December 2008, On Leadership is very much a work in progress. Let us know what you think of it or how you think it can be improved. Our hope is that you find it enlightening, engaging, challenging and unpredictable enough to become a regular part of your routine.

By  |  06:25 PM ET, 05/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 03/23/2012

Dartmouth president Jim Yong Kim on leadership

President Obama announced Friday morning that he has picked Jim Yong Kim, the president of Dartmouth College, to lead the World Bank. His nomination of Kim comes a month after current head Robert Zoellick said he would be stepping down.

Kim is the first Asian American to serve as an Ivy League college president. He is also a public health leader whose “innovative work fighting the spread of AIDS and tuberculosis” caught the president’s attention.

While president of Dartmouth, Kim sat down for a video interview with the Washington Post about his leadership style and the lessons he has learned from his work in public health.

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By  |  10:28 AM ET, 03/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:57 PM ET, 03/09/2012

Leadership character: The role of reflection

This piece is the sixth installment in a six-part series on leadership character by West Point’s Col. Eric Kail.

Some say experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. Perhaps. But I say experience is only as valuable as what we do with it.

Gaining wisdom from an experience requires reflection. In thinking back on the significant events of my life, experiences good and bad, it was the act of assigning meaning that has made all the difference for me. Reflection requires a type of introspection that goes beyond merely thinking, talking or complaining about our experiences. It is an effort to understand how the events of our life shape the way in which we see the world, ourselves and others. And it is essential for any leader.

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By Col. Eric Kail  |  04:57 PM ET, 03/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  leadership

Posted at 12:04 PM ET, 03/08/2012

Advice for a bad boss

(Barry Wetcher - BARRY WETCHER)
This week we published the article “How to completely, utterly destroy an employee’s work life,” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. In no time, your workplace horror stories came flooding into the comments section.

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By  |  12:04 PM ET, 03/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  advice, workplace, leadership


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