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?
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:
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
While rarely getting public attention, Adobe, the maker of Photoshop and many other software tools, has been one of the great success stories in the technology sector in recent years. For perspective, its stock price was in the $45 range as of four years ago and today it trades for roughly $145. How did it do this? By wisely jumping on an important technology inflection point and overhauling how it provided customers its products.
On the surface, you would expect General Electric to be turning in good business results. Most of their divisions are very strong players in their industries, for example GE Aviation, GE Healthcare, GE Power, and GE Oil and Gas.
Tesla makes a very good car and has certainly created high interest in electric vehicles. On the other hand, it’s amazing how regularly the Tesla leader will over-promise and then under-deliver, getting the company into trouble with Wall Street investors. Recently he did it again. Let’s take a look at the details and see what leadership lessons might emerge.