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:

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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Amazon and Microsoft: Demonstrating What Great Leaders Do!

With the stock market regularly hitting new highs, there are numerous companies that are blessed with exceptional leaders. The CEO’s of two technology behemoths are particularly good examples of this: 1) Amazon is turning in to an amazing retail juggernaut, and 2) Microsoft has been totally rejuvenated by its initiatives into cloud services and turning Office into the Office 365 online subscription service.

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US Navy: An Absence of Leadership at the Top

In recent weeks, the press has been full of stories and analyses of the various accidents involving Navy ships over the past year. What’s becoming apparent is a complete lack of leadership from the Navy’s top ranks.

The two most recent incidents were the most jarring. On June 17, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship leaving seven sailors dead. On August 20, the USS John S. McCain collided with a Liberian-flagged oil tanker, leaving ten sailors dead. These two most recent accidents caused the top brass at the Navy to make the following predictable statement; “we will immediately launch a 60-day investigation into fundamental practices.” This sounds trite and political in the face of 17 deaths.

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Cisco: The King of Complexity Pays the Price!

During the period from 1991 to 2000, Cisco Systems was the leader in providing the switches and routers that were the heart of internet infrastructure. During that period, Cisco’s revenue grew averagely about 50% per year. At one point, they were in fact the most valuable company on Wall Street as measured by market cap.

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IBM: A Lesson in the Elusiveness of Objectivity

In its recent quarterly earnings announcement, IBM noted that the division built around Watson, the generalized artificial intelligence tool, experienced a revenue decline of -1% versus year ago. This is after a disappointing +3% growth in the prior quarter. The CEO of the company continues to tout Watson as the savior of IBM. Also, the company continues to field a very heavy advertising program behind Watson. The fact is, it appears Watson is out of gas, but the company keeps hyping it.

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Avon: The Latest “Deer in the Headlights”

It is a psychological fact that if a deer is standing in the dark on a road and a car’s headlights shine on it, the deer is blinded momentarily and it freezes. The funny thing is, it happens not only to deer but to companies and people as well. Psychologists define the commonly used phrase “deer in the headlights” as “a state of indecision caused by surprise, anxiety, fear and confusion”.

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