“There is no such thing as a instant leader.” begins Bill George. Think about the typical CEO of a company. What made his or her leadership style significant to the livelihood of the company, if it was successful to begin with? One quickly realizes that the definition of being a ‘leader’ is not all black and white as numerous leadership studies and archetypes make it out to be. In fact, the former CEO of Medtronic argues that the best leaders are those who do not aim to be leaders, but those who aim to embody leadership throughout the company, called ‘authentic leadership.’
Tag Archives: Howard Schultz
It was a great pleasure during the last semester to share a class at Grenoble EM with Dr. Gregg Glover. Gregg has been a good friend for many years (though he might deny this!) and I am delighted he accepted our invitation.
He did his doctorate in organization change at Harvard University and has worked there for over 25 years. He was able to bring his vast teaching and professional experience to the class and share some of the things he has learned and studied while working for the world’s most known university.
The Olympics is the fabulous event because each nation can find its own heros. Last night in the 400m women’s final Camille Muffat became one of France’s new heroines by taking gold. She narrowly defeated Allison Schmitt of the USA.
Britain’s Rebecca Adlington took the bronze medal in the same race adding to her two golds in the Beijing Olympics. Last November, I posted an article about the inspiration that I had found from sources such as my own students, Howard Schultz the CEO of Starbucks and the young British swimmer.
Time to reflect once more on those thoughts.
BOOK REVIEW: “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul” by Howard Schultz & Joanne Gordon (2012)
Authors: Howard Schultz & Joanne Gordon
Change management, leadership, rebuilding a brand, supply chain management
Howard Schultz’ very personal and open account of the difficulties that Starbucks ran into and why, in 2008, he decided to come back to the company as CEO. He had stepped down 8 years before. Schultz’s is very passionate about his company (this comes out even more in interviews) and the people that work for it. The book is even divided into five parts entitled Love, Confidence, Pain, Hope and Courage.
The book gives an excellent account of how an “iconic brand” reinvented itself, why Schultz was determined to ban hot breakfasts from the store, the importance of creating an ‘experience’ or an ‘atmosphere’ for the customer and how the company became profitable again. He is also quite honest about why certain products and strategies failed. Continue reading
I am very grateful to one of my international students for sharing this wonderful quote from a New Zealand business woman. It was during a class a fortnight ago and we were discussing entrepreneurship and why only 1% of European business school graduates create their own company immediately upon graduating. One of the reasons, said some of the class members, was the obsession with competitive exams and rankings and thus the overall fear of failing. The quote makes you reassess what exactly “success” and “failure” really are. Continue reading