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Is There a Better Way To Be a Boss?

A recent Gallup survey found that only 21% of employees surveyed say they are managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. Columnist Gael O'Brien says that's why there's need to re-innovate the old maxim that “employees are our most important asset.” She takes a look at two new books which offer ideas and execution strategies that "stand a good chance of inspiring people to do their best work."

Women and Workplace Respect: The Challenge for Corporate Leaders

How do we achieve a better working world that is more inclusive and gender equal? Columnist Gael O'Brien says the answer is ultimately connected to how respect shows up in a company’s culture: "Without the cornerstones of respect and safety – integral to leadership responsibility – progress toward a better working world will be two steps forward and five back."

Corporate Citizenship in an Age of Uncertainty

Columnist Gael O'Brien thinks corporate citizenship may be entering its greatest test. Will a Trump presidency have the effect of muting CEO voices for fear of reprisals and Twitter attacks in a government now controlled by one political party? Or will corporate citizenship, acting out of a bigger sense of purpose, gain increased public trust and support?

Where Wells Fargo Goes From Here

Columnist Gael O'Brien examines efforts by a group of values-driven shareholders to pressure the scandal-ridden Wells Fargo bank for a report containing some structured self-examination. A Roman Catholic nun who's active in the campaign says Wells Fargo officials "come back to us and tell us they are living by their vision and values….We are betrayed because they haven’t been living by that.”

The Work Culture at Amazon: Does the Tin Man Have a Heart?

Recent criticisms of what's reported to be a high-pressured work environment at Amazon highlight how leaders' expectations can dehumanize a workplace, writes columnist Gael O'Brien. "It is difficult," she says,"to see how a company passionate about 'customer obsession' won’t give more attention to its own culture - finding ways to listen and respond to those who make customer satisfaction possible and sustainable."

Why Thanksgiving Day Store Openings Are Bad Business

Major U.S. retail chains like Target and K-Mart are being criticized by some consumer groups for opening on Thanksgiving Day. Columnist Gael O'Brien finds she agrees with the critics. In the rush for short-term profits, she says, companies are "losing capital" with their employees and damaging their reputations as responsible corporate citizens.

The Role of ‘Spiritual Intelligence’ in 21st Century Leadership

Spiritual intelligence, writes columnist Gael O'Brien, "is the ability to access deeper meaning and multiple ways of knowing to see and solve or resolve the right problems." While many elements of spiritual intelligence are already employed in business today, tomorrow's leaders need to further develop " the practices and ways of mindful listening, seeing and connecting that allow our brains to rewire."

Plagiarism: Why Some Smart People Do Some Very Stupid Things

When U.S. Senator John Walsh (pictured left) was accused of plagiarizing a masters thesis, he initially attributed the act partially to post traumatic stress disorder related to military service. He later recanted and quit the race for his seat in the Senate. The Army War College has since rescinded the masters degree. "The consequence of plagiarism," writes columnist Gael O'Brien, "is like a time-released capsule imploding at a vulnerable moment in a career."

Will Controversy Over Whales and Dolphins Threaten SeaWorld’s Future?

Questions about how SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment treats dolphins and whales has placed it at the center of an intense controversy involving allegations of cruelty to animals - charges the company vehemently refutes. Columnist Gael O'Brien examines the debate and interviews Thomas I. White, an advocate for animal rights and a professor of business ethics.

American Apparel: Sex, Power and Terrible Corporate Governance

Efforts by American Apparel's board to oust founder and CEO Dov Charney don't impress columnist Gael O'Brien. It's one thing to tolerate a philosophy that a sexually-charged workplace fosters creativity, she writes, but another to allow "the repugnant behavior of its leader, who sexualized the workplace as a stalking ground for employee relationships called consensual, disregarding disparity of age and power."