7 Exceptional Leaders and their Lessons for Transforming any Business
by Jeffrey Krames, Author
Book Review by Achieve Max.com 10 Jan 10 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz 2/14
Here’s a great Concept for teaching anyone—students, entrepreneurs, founders, or anyone to further their business careers—the value of studying the careers of some of this generation’s top leaders The author selected seven (7) outstanding corporate leaders:
1) Sam Walton of Walmart, 2) Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines
3) Bill Gates of Microsoft, 4) Jack Welch of General Electric
5) Lou Gerstner of IBM Corp, 6) Michael Dell of Dell Computer
7) Andy Grove of Intel
What made them great? Author then isolates & examines the specific skills & styles that contributed to each CEOs well-documented achievements. Listing the CEOs and their respective defining strategies is easy to do. He then devotes a full chapter to each CEO and offers his rigorous analysis of each leader and the defining strategy within the context of their respective organizations. This is indeed “added value” for the reader. The reader learns not only the WHAT but also the HOW & WHY.
Other Business Wisdom. In addition to interviews and his own expert analyses, the author also includes contributions from leading business theorists, including Peter Drucker & Philip Kotler, to provide different perspectives on each given business issue.
Inter-active Case Studies & Exercises are added to actively engage the reader’s mind. For example, a brief scenario “puts the reader in the seat of each CEO.” A series of business situations are also offered which enable his readers “to test their business acumen against that of each of the 7 subject CEOs.” Assessing Your CEO Quotient self-tests will help you apply these traits & strategies to you own Business.
Defining Strategies of each CEO:
· Michael Dell created a computer giant by “placing customers at the center” of his business model.
· Jack Welch created an authentic “learning” organization – aligning rewards with results -to make GE an organization that harnesses the ideas & intellect of every employee.
· Lou Gerstner taught IBM to “focus on solutions” by starting with a customer’s business problem, working back to the right combination of technologies & expertise.
· Andy Grove fostered an “awareness in his people to sense threats” and turn them into Intel’s competitive advantage.
· Bill Gates trusted the instincts of his employees over his own, successfully transforming Microsoft into a leading Web presense.
· Herb Kelleher created an exceptional “fun, yet performance-driven culture” which continues to grow as it maintains a small-company attitude.
· Sam Walton continually learned from his competitors – to improve his own stores – while remaining faithful to his vision of making lower cost goods available to all
What do these magnificent 7 have in common?
1) an evangelical leadership gene;
2) an understanding of the critical role of company culture;
3) a passion to create next-generation products, processes, or solutions;
4) a determination to implement the best ideas, regardless of their origin; and
5) a commitment to increase – and thereby advance – the leadership body of knowledge.
Comment: What’s your impression of some of these leaders and how they made their company a leader?