Nancy Napier

What are your key turning points? Phil Knight, of Nike, had several

  I never realized that long before Nike was Nike, it was Blue Ribbon. I’ve been reading books on business firms and leaders recently, such as Shoe Dog (by Phil Knight), Alibaba (Jack Ma), and Brick by Brick (about Legos). A common feature seems to be the role of turning points and how much difference they can make. Phil Knight’s story… Read more What are your key turning points? Phil Knight, of Nike, had several

What historian David McCullough’s new book can teach Idaho business leaders

I seem to be quoting The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan a lot these days. A few weeks ago, she had an excellent column suggesting that leaders need to think more like artists than economists. This past week she reviewed a collection of speeches by the historian David McCullough, who has much to offer leaders of any… Read more What historian David McCullough’s new book can teach Idaho business leaders

Will Idaho’s growing old-age population shape Boise in a different way?

When many people think about “shapers” of a community, they may think first of people with power, who make decisions like where roads will go, where to put new housing developments, or how to build and run companies that thrive. My first thought about community “shapers” zeroed in on “invisible” changes that have and will… Read more Will Idaho’s growing old-age population shape Boise in a different way?

How do you hire for passion or curiosity? Here’s one question to ask.

When I was a young professor, I invited a very successful entrepreneur to speak to my class. One of the questions was, “How did you learn to hire the right people?” His response: “I made a lot of mistakes … on my previous employer’s nickel.” In other words, he learned how to hire by making… Read more How do you hire for passion or curiosity? Here’s one question to ask.