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:

Netflix – Matching Management Practices to the Business

With people stuck at home, it is no surprise that Netflix is having a great year.  On the other hand, there is a whole bunch of new streaming options, such as Disney+, that are also thriving.  You would expect them to be taking some business away from Netflix, but instead, it has seen revenue climb […]

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How to Create an Environment of Achievement

Strong leaders push consistently to make sure their people and organizations are focused on achieving something of significance. An environment of achievement requires an exciting vision and clear plans to make it happen. It requires well-understood measures so that there is pressure to perform and to see those measures demonstrate genuine progress. It requires accurate matching of people to jobs to maximize impact.

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Change and Fear: Inseparable?

Anytime there is a significant change in an organization, it can have a very unsettling effect. Examples of the kind of changes I am talking about are reorganizing to better meet the needs of the marketplace, new technologies that lead to new products or new ways to execute the business or new bosses who have different value systems and want to reconfigure things.

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IBM: Finally, A Bold Move Provides Some Hope

One financial analyst calls IBM’s last ten years its wasted decade. In that period, the company’s annual revenue dropped from a tad over $100 billion to under $80 billion and net income for the decade dropped from $14.8 billion to $9.4 billion. In comparison, in the past ten years, Microsoft’s revenue grew from $69 billion to over $143 billion and the company has been totally reinvigorated by the move to a cloud emphasis about 6 years ago.

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Brooks Brothers: The Latest Casualty Due to Ignoring Key Trends

Brooks Brothers is a classic name in retailing.  The 202-year-old company pioneered ready-made suits and its clothes have been worn by dozens of U.S presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, as well as tycoons ranging from the Astor’s to the Vanderbilt’s.  As one retail industry analyst put it, “Brooks Brothers has been a way […]

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Microsoft – Finally Killing a Marginal Project!

One of the hardest things to do in a large organization is to stop an effort that has been on-going for years. Microsoft provided a great example recently of doing exactly that. It takes a lot of guts for a leader to take such an action.

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A Powerful Lesson from Hyundai 

One thing that really confuses employees is when the manager pursues a long, painful “values/mission/charter/vision/strategies/objectives/goals” exercise.  First of all, what does all this stuff mean, and second, why take many months when the problems/opportunities are typically obvious. The strong leader cuts out all that complicated jargon and simply explains that the vision is WHAT we […]

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Learning From China’s Chairman Mao: Avoid Generating Fear!

I am reading the book Tombstone, by Yang Jisheng, whose father was one of the thirty-six million people that starved to death during 1958-1962 in China. The devastation was driven by the program called the Great Leap Forward engineered by Mao Zedong. The leap forward was to achieve increases each year in food production since food was scarce. Quotas were set up in each village and county and continually raised, while all peasants were stripped of their land and possessions and assigned to highly ineffective commune farms where chaos caused the food production to drop each year. Peasants were to eat at commune kitchens, which soon ran out of food. Anyone caught hoarding any food suffered severe physical punishment.

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Beware of Assumptions!

The America’s Cup yacht competition held in Fall, 2013 featured only two yachts, one from New Zealand and one from the U.S. Both used exotic technology enabling the boats to attain speeds of 50+ miles per hour. Specifically, each had the capability, when they get to a certain speed, of lifting literally out of the water, moving along on four foils, like surf boards, reducing drag and causing speed to dramatically increase.

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Mornings with Maria interview: The Google antitrust case and the new era of working from home

Today I had an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business News where we discussed the apparent upcoming antitrust lawsuit focused on Google.  We also chatted about the learnings from folks working from home.  You can view it by clicking here.

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