Lasting Leadership!

10 10 2005

I am just going through a book by name “Lasting Leadership” which contains of the profiles of the 25 Business Leaders. Its nice to see a snapshot profile of the some of the most successful leaders and read about what they have to say. I am planning to include a few points which caught my attention. Guess its going to be a long post.

The book is organized in chapters like

Andy Grove’s Leadership at Intel
-His management style, for embarking the famous Intel Inside campaign, for surviving the Pentium crisis and for the ability to stand for his convictions. He defines that a leader is one whom people would follow. Simple, isn’t it?

Leadership and Corporate Culture

Herb Kelleher(Southwest Airlines)
-For building a great culture, for persistence, for building team spirit and flexibility into the organization.
Mary Kay Ash(Mary Kay)
-For praising people to success, for building a family kind of structure in the organization, for the famous pink cadillacs!
James Burke(Johnson & Johnson)
-For leading J&J through the Tylenol crisis, for championing innovation across the company, for encouraging a risk taking culture and for emphasizing on the importance of Trust across the organization.

Truth Tellers

Jack Welch(GE)
-Known as the Neutron Jack for his restructuring plans.
William George (Medtronic)
-He says that “Leadership is about getting people to follow even if they have their own doubts. Authentic leaders are those who are committed to purpose or mission;people who live by values and lead by heart.”
Peter F. Drucker
-Defines management as an art which has the potential to transform “a mob into an organization, and human effort into performance. Known for coining terms like privatization, knowledge workers and placing emphasis on managing relationships.

Identifying an underserved market

Charles Schwab (Charles Schwab Corp.)
-For making his discount brokerage firm a huge success and establishing technology paradigm in the investment industry. Forbes calls him, “King of Online Brokers”.
John Bogle (The Vanguard Group)
-For inventing Index funds and by pioneering the Vanguard as the low cost leader.
Mohammed Yunus (Grameen Bank)
-For pioneering micro credit through Grameen Bank and making a difference to a lot of people across the world. With a vision to build a poverty free world, he is perhaps the only one who wishes that his target market eventually disappears.

Seeing the invisible

Steve Jobs (Apple and Pixar)
– For using creativity and innovation to gain on the face of a giant competitor
George Soros(Soros Fund Management)
-Believes in the principles of open society. Known for his ability to spot the trends, for self-discipline and risk appetite.
Ted Turner (Turner Broadcasting)
-This founder of CNN and TNT is known for acting on gut feelings and venturing into the unexplored terrains.

Using Price to gain competitive advantage

Michael Dell(Dell Inc.)
-For his strong sense of market and for cutting the middlemen.
Jeff Bezos(Amazon)
-For revolutionizing retailing with the power of the emerging networking technology and for building a brand through customer experience.
Sam Walton(Wal-Mart)
-For getting the cost-price equation right. Can anyone believe that he wore a grass skirt and danced the hula in 1984 on the steps of the Merill Lynch’s Wall Street offices after losing over the bet that Walmart couldn’t possibly hit a pre-tax profit of 8%

Managing the Brand

Richard Branson (Virgin)
-For his risk-apetite, persistence and fun loving attitude. He has successfully built the world most stretched brand Virgin based on his credibility and capability.
Oprah Winfrey(Harpo, Inc.)
-She claims that “Owning myself is a way to be myself”. With a constant focus on being better, she has built an amazing personal brand marked with genuine and disarming attitude.
Lee Iacocca (Chrysler)
-for his strong sense of personal credibility, for turning around the troubled Chrysler and for his charismatic leadership.

Fast Learners

Frederick Smith (FedEx)
-Known for revolutionizing the world of logistics pioneering the overnight delivery and tracking process.
Bill Gates (Microsoft)
-Known for his agility and ability to gauge the market. Famous for Microsoft’s ” Buy it or Bury it” sort of competitor’s policies.
Lou Gerstner(IBM & RJR Nabisco)
-For leading IBM successfully through troubled times. He says that a leader’s 90% of success depends on his ability to select, motivate, and encourage the team working under him.

Managing Risk

Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway)
-Known as the most successful investor of our times. Is a strong believer in Value Investing.
Alan Greenspan
-For efficiently dealing with uncertainty as Federal Reserve chairman.
Peter Lynch (Fidelity Investments)
-Known for picking the winner stocks. He says, “The stock market is counter-intuitive When the headlines are terrible, that’s really when you ought to start buying. The person who turns over the most rocks will win the game.”

Some excerpts from the book:

“In June 2000, John Bogle, founder and former CEO of The Vanguard Group, spoke about leadership at Wharton. As an avid group of executives listened to the man who popularized the principle of indexing – and in the process built the Vanguard Group into a firm managing more than $550 billion in assets – Bogle ended his speech quoting James Norris, a Vanguard manager, who wrote: “While it is revealing to consider what constitutes a leader, your search for understanding, for some kind of leadership formula, is apt to end in frustration. It is like studying Michelangelo or Shakespeare: You can imitate, emulate, and simulate, but there is simply no connect-the-dots formula to Michelangelo’s David or Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I suppose, when all is said and done, it really comes down to this: People are leaders because they choose to lead.

The heart of leadership is as simple as that: It is a matter of choice and determination. If this is true, then people who choose and are determined to become influential business leaders can benefit from observing other leaders and using their observations to nurture their own leadership style.”


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10 04 2006
Rachel


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