Fascinating Things You Probably Don’t Already Know About Fascinating People

People make the world go round. Love ‘em or hate ‘em they are the only thing that truly keeps boredom at bay. However, we’re not all fascinated by the same ones. Personally, I require more substance to fuel my interest than is usually offered by most of the glitterati and sports figures that many people follow; here are a few that I’ve enjoyed recently.

I always find salaries and those who receive them interesting and this synopsis of a Wall Street Journal article and the article itself (links in the synopsis) fill the bill. I especially chuckled when I saw that Steve Jobs would have made more holding his underwater options than he did with the restricted stock that replaced them; he also wouldn’t have gotten into a backdating bind.

Of all the articles written about Tony Hayward, my favorite was Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s guide to Hayward’s leadership skills. To wit: deny and minimize problems; emphasize your own power and importance; make the story all about you; never apologize, and don’t even pretend to learn from your mistakes; and hang onto your job even when it’s clear you should go.” Although many executives practice one or more of these traits, the list seems a better fit for 99.9% of politicians past, present and, probably, future.

Next is an absorbing article about Alex Bogusky, the whiz of Madison Avenue—or he was. The guy responsible for Burger King’s success and Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” campaign quit. Not uncommon, but Bogusky not only left the industry and turned his considerable talents to making a kind of peaceful war on it.

Finally, the story of socialite Judith Peabody—a truly remarkable woman. Remarkable not just for the money she raised, but for her courage in the face of a disease that terrified a nation—AIDS. 30 years ago when even much of the medical profession refused to touch an AIDS patient, Judith Peabody spent hours visiting patients offering hugs and encouragement.

Flickr image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedroelcarvalho/2812091311/

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