Written by Linda A. Hill

The roots of this project go back to 1986 when I wrote a case study about Suzanne de Passe, then the president of Motown Productions, who had just won numerous awards for producing Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever. Suzanne was gracious enough to let me shadow her as she went about her work, all the while offering her well-honed point of view about what it takes to lead talented, passionate, creative people. The lessons learned were never forgotten and I made a promise to return to the question of “leading creatives” someday. In 1999, I met Ahmed Kathrada, known by his friends as “Kathy,” a South African anti-apartheid activist and former political prisoner who spent decades in a cell across from ...

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