Staying on the subject of Dark Age myths:
It is also dangerous. There is perhaps no more corrosive trend to the health of our organizations than the rise of the celebrity CEO, the rock-star leader whose deepest ambition is first and foremost self-centric.
Inmy research team and I began to wrestle with a simple question: Can a good company become a great company and, if so, how? If we could find organizations that had made the leap from good to great and isolate the factors that distinguished these examples from carefully selected comparison companies that failed to make the leap or if they did, failed to sustain itwe would shed light on the key variables that separate great from good.
We embarked on a five-year study to answer this one deceptively simple question, examining merely good performers that had somehow transformed themselves to achieve truly great results.
We defined "great results" as cumulative stock returns at least 3. For perspective, General Electric from to beat the market only 2. We uncovered a number of key requirements and underlying variables for turning a good company into a great one.
But perhaps the most intriguing—and certainly the most surprising—is the type of leadership that turns good into great. Inthis seemingly ordinary man became chief executive of Kimberly-Clark. He inherited a company that for one hundred years had been merely good, never great.
A mediocre player in the middling paper industry, Kimberly-Clark returns to investors had fallen 36 percent behind the general stock market over the twenty years prior to Darwin Smith's ascension to CEO. Over the next twenty years, Smith led a stunning turnabout, generating returns to investors that beat the general stock market by over four times, easily outperforming such companies as Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, and Coca-Cola.
Have you ever heard of Darwin Smith? Despite being one of the greatest CEOs of the twentieth century, he remains largely unknown. A shy and reserved man, Smith shunned any attempt to shine the spotlight on him, preferring instead to direct attention to the company and its people. He showed none of the swagger that characterizes many of today's high-profile CEOs, and he never viewed himself as a great hero.
Early in Smith's tenure as CEO, a director pulled Smith aside to remind him that he lacked some of the qualifications for the position he had been corporate counsel and had never run a major division. Smith, a man who never entirely erased his own self-doubts, later summed up his tenure by saying simply, "I never stopped trying to become qualified for the job.
When it came time to make the big decisions required to make the company great, he made them.
Early in his tenure, he unflinchingly decided to sell all the traditional paper mills, which accounted for the majority of Kimberly-Clark's business—sell even the namesake mill in Kimberly, Wisconsin—and throw all the money into the consumer business, investing in brands like Huggies and Kleenex.
It was a huge and painful step. Coming home from work during this particularly difficult period, a wearied Smith said to his wife, "It's really tough.
But if you have a cancer in your arm, then you've got to have the guts to cut off your arm. After all, how on earth could such a mediocre paper company take on the giants of the consumer business? But in the end, Smith's stoic resolve paid off. I think we can safely say that Darwin Smith did indeed become qualified for the job.
The antithesis of egocentric celebrity If you want to grasp the essence of the type of leader who turns good into great, just keep in mind Darwin Smith. It turns out that every good-to-great company in our study had a leader from the Darwin Smith school of management at the helm during the pivotal years.
We eventually came to call these remarkable people " Level 5 leaders. Level 1 relates to individual capability, Level 2 to team skills, Level 3 to managerial competence, and Level 4 to leadership as traditionally conceived.
Level 5 leaders possess the skills of levels 1 to 4 but also have an "extra dimension": They are somewhat self-effacing individuals who deflect adulation, yet who have an almost stoic resolve to do absolutely whatever it takes to make the company great, channeling their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company.The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.
One evening over dinner, I began to joke, as I often had before, about writing an essay called “Men Explain Things to Me.” Every writer has a stable of ideas that never make it to the racetrack, and I’d been trotting this pony out recreationally every once in a while.
Effective Leadership and Personality essaysThe most critical factor of the fall and rise of businesses, schools, religious groups, non-profit, and military organizations are effectiveness of the organizations leaders. Since , there have been thousands of books and articles written on leadership.
What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.
What is Personality? Personality is an easy concept to grasp for most of us.
It’s what makes you “you”. It encompasses all the traits, characteristics, and quirks that set you apart from everyone else.. In the world of psychology research, personality is a little more complicated. Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years.
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