What I learned this week: Yahoo’s failed leader, characteristics of great teams

It’s Friday and time for summing up the lessons learned this week:

  • Yahoo’s (newish) CEO Carol Bartz clearly failed as a leader this week when it became public that she apparently sold Yahoo stock cashing in close to $2 million. 2 days later she declared that the sale was purely for tax reasons and that she had reacquired the stock but the damage was done as she got killed in the blogosphere and on Twitter for 2 long days of silence. I originally liked her tough talking style and thought that this might be a great way of shaping up Yahoo but the events this week also showed that she doesn’t know how to handle sensitive situations. Such an event should have required upfront open communications about the purpose of the stock sale or at least a very quick reaction after it became public and the bashing began. But by waiting a full 2 days to clarify things she failed as a leader and most likely destroyed all goodwill that she had built up in the past months.
  • In the past week lists of 10 characteristics of great investors and companies made the round. Part of a great company is always how productive team dynamics are and a really good strategy meeting with Nexopia‘s management this week reminded me of some success factors: finding the right balance between praising and challenging other team members; always putting the overall company interest over your personal interest; respecting everybody’s contribution to the success of a company; using humor to take pressure of people. There are probably many more but these are some characteristics I like to see in every team.