Bob's Leadership Blog

Bob regularly writes blog posts and articles with his areas of focus being business leadership, organizational effectiveness, and U.S. competitiveness. Below you will find his most recent efforts. To read these, please click on the following links.

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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Credibility & Stature – Apple is Losing It!

The CEO of Apple pontificating on the sacredness of iPhone security, and then being upstaged by a hacker, accompanied by a big Apple press event to announce small size phones, are the kinds of things that can lower the morale and confidence of employees and tarnish the image of the company’s products.

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Killing Projects: Learn from Google!

Tens of millions of people have gone to YouTube recently and viewed a two-legged humanoid robot trudge through snow, while surprisingly maintaining its balance. Another humanoid robot stretches out its arms, crouches down, lifts a box and places it on a shelf, and then successfully fends off a real human who tries to knock it over with a hockey stick. Another robot intentionally topples over and then proudly picks itself up with ease.

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Are You a Motivation Killer?

Recently I saw an article that celebrated the fact that it has been 25 years since the first digital cellular system and phone were invented by Motorola. Back in its glory days, Motorola also invented such things as car radios, military radios, and was the company responsible for bringing Six Sigma to the USA. On the other hand, by late 2003, it was a struggling, confused company with no clear game plan for winning. The CEO at that juncture was Chris Galvin, having been appointed to that position in 1997. He was the third Galvin to run Motorola and his grandfather, Paul Galvin, started the firm in 1928.

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Complacency – You May Be Causing It!

Successful organizations tend to become complacent. In some cases that disease becomes so bad the company gets obliterated. Over the decades, there have been many high flying examples such as Kodak, Circuit City, and Blockbuster. More recently, the demise of Nokia and Blackberry in the cellphone/smartphone business are classic examples.

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A Leader’s Key Task; Focus on the Core Problems

Tesla recently announced its 4th quarter, 2015 financial results. Revenue was $1.75 billion and its loss per share was $2.44; both falling short of analysts’ expectations. Concerning net profit, it reported a loss of $320 million, nearly triple the loss of a year ago. It was its 11th straight quarterly loss. As is usually the case with Tesla, it touted very aggressive sales forecasts for 2016 and 2017.

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