May 31st: What's On Today's Show

Originally published on May 31, 2011 3:32 pm

Transforming Institutions
The only thing more difficult than building a respected organization may be reinventing an institution that isn't performing to its potential. Even the best leaders often face an entrenched culture, the burden of an established reputation and resistance to change — from both within the organization and from the outside. Host Neal Conan talks about the challenges and the opportunities of reinvention with two leaders who successfully transformed their organizations: Alan Merten, retiring President of George Mason University in Virginia, and Wright Lassiter of the Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland.

'Most Likely To Succeed'
One in four high school senior classes voted this month on which classmate to name "Most Likely to Succeed," by one estimate. It's a ritual that could soon be named "Most Likely to be Banned." More and more school officials want to end the practice. Among other reasons, they worry the nomination can put too much pressure on a student. In a piece in The Wall Street Journal, "Work & Family" columnist Sue Shellenbarger wrote about the burden of being named "Most Likely to Succeed." Host Neal Conan talks with Shellenbarger about the effect of being labeled with such high expectations.

The End Of Anger
In 1994, Ellis Cose surveyed successful, middle-class African Americans and uncovered an often unspoken rage. Many black professionals described a workplace that did not treat them as equals. Now seventeen years later, Cose depicts a fundamental change in a new book, The End Of Anger. Middle-class African Americans, he finds, have become one of the most optimistic groups in America. Driving the change — Fortune 500 companies are hiring more black workers and managers, voters elected the country's first black president and society, in general, rejects racism as intolerable. Neal Conan talks with Cose about the decline of black rage and his new book, The End of Anger: A New Generation's Take on Race and Rage.

Air France Flight 447
An initial report from the investigation into what brought down Air France flight 447 shows that the plane stalled before rapidly plunging more than 30,000 feet into the ocean. The 2009 flight killed all 228 people on board. So far, the report raises more questions than it answers, including how pilots responded to a series of warning messages and what — if anything — they did to bring the plane out of the stall. Now, some industry leaders are raising concerns about pilot training and the growing role of automation in the cockpit. Host Neal Conan talks with airline safety consultant and former commercial pilot John Cox about the initial findings in the report, what may have happened in the cockpit and what this could mean for passengers.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit