Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog

Bob regularly writes blog posts and articles with his areas of focus being leadership, organizational effectiveness. Below you will find the titles and hot-links of his most recent efforts:

Warren Buffett’s Talent Criteria

About a year ago Warren Buffett paid $37 billion for Precision CastParts (PCP) Corporation, a highly successful company that makes complex parts primarily for the aircraft engine industry. Buffett praised and celebrated the CEO of this company at his recent annual meeting in Omaha. This generated a lot of press articles about the controversial nature of that CEO who has generated a culture at PCP that’s best described by one of the employees as “in your face, full body contact.”

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Twitter: Simply Repeating What’s Not Working

The financial results which Twitter just released for its most recent quarter were characterized by weak user growth, weak revenue and a disappointing outlook. This caused an immediate -10% decline in the company’s stock price as investors continued to lose faith in the company’s ability to turn it around. For perspective, while Twitter’s stock price ranged between $35 and $55 during the period of January 2014 to July of 2015, in the most recent six months it has been in the $15-$20 range.

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Learning from the Struggles of IBM

IBM’s revenue declined by 2.8% in the most recent quarter. The gains it made in its new businesses of cloud computing and data analytics were more than offset by the continued declines in its established businesses. IBM has posted revenue declines in seventeen straight quarters.

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Empowerment Requires Forceful Leadership

“Empowerment”, especially when discussed by HR professionals, is a topic that can get out of hand with respect to just how independently employees can operate while maintaining some semblance of productivity for the organization. What we will discuss here is that real empowerment can only occur when there is strong leadership at the top setting the overall direction and providing some ground rules.

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Lessons on Innovation from Apple, Starbucks and Amazon

While leaders can never be certain that their company’s ability to bring new ideas to the marketplace is totally wired into the culture and would be effective even without them, it is important that each leader have total commitment to honing each employee’s skills to continually challenge the status quo.

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The Tesla Leader: How to Lose Credibility!

It has been a tough few weeks for the leader of Tesla, but he himself is the cause of a lot of their problems.

For example, once again it turns out they have massively over-promised on the number of cars they will build in 2016. They have been claiming they will build 80,000 to 90,000 units. It was just announced that for the first six months, they built 29,190 (14,820 in Q1 and 14,370 in Q2). They are clearly going to miss their target range, like they do all the time!

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Yahoo’s Problem: Ignoring Reality and Doing What’s Familiar

Much has been written recently about the problems at Yahoo. When a new leader was hired in 2012, there was a lot of hope. This person was the 20th hire at Google and had helped that start-up become a raging success.

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Six Reasons Why Organizations Fail

Over the years, a lot of business gurus have pontificated on why organizations fail. This is not surprising since on any given day, you are likely to learn about some firm that is struggling to recover from a rash of poor results.

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Leadership Lessons from the Walgreens/Theranos Mess

Over the past four years, Walgreens, the giant drugstore chain, has been executing a plan to spend about $50 million to place in about 40 of its stores a machine developed by the start-up Theranos that supposedly could test tiny samples of blood for dozens of conditions, eliminating the need to take a blood sample from the patient’s arm. Unfortunately, it has turned into a huge disaster.

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Apple’s Challenge: Major Innovation

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway invests in companies that are solid and mature with attractive and steady profits. Examples are Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, Geico insurance, Coca Cola, and Wells Fargo. Hence, it was noteworthy that recently Berkshire Hathaway bought $1 billion of Apple stock. It’s just another signal that Apple is falling from the ranks of exciting, innovative companies.

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