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:

Microsoft: Leveraging the Learning from Advertising Research?

When the current CEO of Microsoft took the job in 2014, the company stock price had been floundering for the past 13 years in the $25-$37 range. He quickly moved into action to focus the company’s future on cloud infrastructure. The task of getting the employee base and customers on board required constantly delivering the cloud message. This single-minded focus and constant communication of the cloud direction was critical in the evolution of Office to the cloud service Office 365 and the emergence of Azure, an open, enterprise-grade cloud computing platform. Today, Microsoft web services are a strong and fast growing #2 behind Amazon’s web services and Microsoft’s stock price is in the $88 range.

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Netflix – Acting Like a 9-Year-Old Kansas Kid!

It was very recently announced that the percentage of Americans who subscribe to Netflix is now equal to the number that subscribe to cable TV services. To understand what has made Netflix so successful, let’s first consider the following story often told by Gary Burnison, the CEO of Korn/Ferry.

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Gillette: Fat, Happy and Vulnerable in Its Own Fiefdom

A recent article in Fortune magazine discussed the massive loss of market share by Gillette; moving from 71% when it was acquired by Procter and Gamble in 2005 down to its current 59%. It points out that a key reason for this was that Gillette simply missed the growing consumer interest in an adequate performing, and very reasonably priced, razor. Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s and Schick jumped on this trend. Meanwhile, Gillette simply stuck to its decades-old game plan of evermore sophisticated and complex razors at ever-increasing prices.

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Delta Airlines: A Great Turnaround Example

It is not much fun to be a part of an organization that is at best treading water with no clear roadmap to break out and get on an exciting path of progress. That certainly was the case for employees of Delta Airlines when the company filed bankruptcy in 2005.

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N.Y. Yankees Fire Manager – Learn from His Mistakes

The New York Yankees baseball team had a great year in 2017. Given that several of their starting players were very young, they were not predicted to make the playoffs, but to show big promise for the future. Instead they not only made the playoffs, but came within one game of going to the World Series. So…why would the Yankees manager of the past ten years, which included a World Series championship, be fired after the end of a very successful 2017? The General Manager of the Yankees answered that question directly: “he simply could not connect and communicate well with the players.”

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Retailers: Most are Lethargic Road-Kill!

It’s amazing to see many of the major retailers simply stand by and watch their business atrophy. On the other hand, there are a few that work hard to get out in front of the key trends/changes impacting retailers. Best Buy is an amazing example of doing exactly that. While facing bankruptcy in early 2013, with its stock price down to $11.80, it watched its competitors such as CompUSA, Circuit City and Radio Shack fall by the wayside.

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Learn from Amazon: Talent Is Critical

Amazon is paranoid about hiring and developing top talent! For example, it has hired 97 MBA’s from MIT over the past 5 years, more than twice any other tech company. Stepping back, given the amazing speed of change in most industries today, it is clear that having top talent is a necessity. Hence, the subject of spotting such individuals at a very early stage and acquiring that talent for your organization should be a very high priority task.

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GE Leadership: Seduced by Success

Seventeen years ago, in November 2000, GE named a new CEO. GE had just completed a highly successful ten-year period where the stock price went from $5/share to $55/share. The person who got the job was highly regarded by everyone, and given the enormous success of GE, he was obviously very positive and confident about the future.

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The Ousted Uber CEO: Determining Trustworthiness is Hard!

A lot has been written recently about the ousted co-founder and CEO of Uber who has tried to get his job back. He had been fired by the board of directors because, after the company was hit with crisis after crisis, virtually all CEO-induced, they had finally lost trust in this individual. The list of those damaging incidents had grown significantly over the past eighteen months. For perspective, that list includes allegations of gender discrimination, encouraging Uber drivers to use a software tool to confuse competition, stealing self-driving car secrets from a competitor, and an investigation by the Department of Justice into Uber’s business practices. Why didn’t the board of Uber see this coming a long time ago?

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The Importance of Excellent Communications to Leadership Success

Recently I was interviewed by journalists Dr. Thomas Clark and Richard Zaunbrecher on the importance of communication skills for a leader.  This interview is below and my hope is you will find some valuable tips in this dialogue. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++  Interview with Bob Herbold: The Importance of Excellent Communication to Leadership Success Tom Clark and Richard […]

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