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:

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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SunEdison and Identifying Bosses You Should Avoid!

A bad boss can do a lot of damage. Importantly, he or she can badly injury your career. Besides not properly developing you, you might get used as a scapegoat for bad things that happen. Also, the bad image of the organization which he or she has caused may carry over to the people in the organization.

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Learn from Intel: Be Lean, Agile and Future Oriented!

Individuals who constantly streamline their organizations, seize change, and tackle the future are your most valuable employees.

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What Drives Amazon Creativity? Forcing People to Think!

Very recently, Fortune magazine had Jeff Bezos of Amazon at the top of its list of the greatest leaders in the world. The article praised him for being the father of e-retailing, cloud services, and e-books. When considering what has enabled Bezos and Amazon to achieve at such a level, I am reminded of a past Fortune article that described how he requires his people to write thorough documents when they want to propose an idea/product/direction for Amazon to pursue. His view is that there in no way to write a persuasive, thorough proposal and not have clear thinking.

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Beware of Teams!

The leader of the team reported to the CFO and had never worked in one of the product divisions. The only influence this individual had over the team members was the financial people from the divisions who looked to the staff Finance organization headed by the CFO for career management.

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