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:

IBM: Spent $97 Billion; Result: 20 Consecutive Quarterly Declines!

The primary job of a leader is to constantly assess the situation, develop an impactful plan that will make a significant difference, and then implement with excellence. Being a leader is not about simply managing a bunch of activities that enable you to participate in some manner in what’s going on in your industry. Unfortunately, that’s what the IBM CEO, who has been in the job five years now, seems to be doing.

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Gillette: Ignoring Competition is a Bad Idea!

Gillette has dominated the razor business for decades. They have religiously followed a narrow strategy of adding new features and convincing consumers via advertising that they are worth the increased price. In the last three years Gillette has had some competition. It came in the form of low cost shave clubs and surprisingly, Gillette just continued to introduce new, pricier products; for example, a razor with a swiveling ball hinge that allows the blade to pivot. Its latest move was to file a patent application for a razor cartridge that heats up.

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Google Gets Discipline: It’s Killing Projects!

One of the hardest things for a leader to do is to terminate a project; even if it has been clear for quite a while that its potential is minimal. Two factors are typically at work; 1) the leader doesn’t want to kill the project because it may appear that he/she has failed; and 2) the people assigned to the project will aggressively pressure the leader to continue since they worry about what will happen to them! The result is that most speculative projects end up living far too long of a life before they either die a natural death or the leader gets up enough courage to admit that this one didn’t work out.

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Toshiba: Why Do Smart People Do Dumb Things?

Toshiba was founded in 1873 as Japan’s first maker of telegraph equipment. Its reputation grew over the years as it became the countries first producer of lightbulbs and eventually into a behemoth that manufactures everything from washing machines to medical equipment and computer chips.

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What Do Employees Look For In a Leader?

There is nothing really surprising coming out of this research, but it is a great reminder of what it takes to inspire an organization and lead it to achieve a significant impact.

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The Uber Fiasco: A Key Leadership Reminder

Uber, and particularly its CEO, has a reputation as being super-aggressive and in-your-face. In recent months Uber has been battered by a barrage of controversies that have called into question the capabilities of the CEO, and clearly tarnished the reputation of the brand.

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Target: Another Example of Ignoring the Obvious

Over the years it’s surprising to see large successful companies, like Kodak and Blockbuster, stare into the reality of important new business trends, like digital photography and the evolution of VHS tapes to CD’s to streaming, and then do nothing. These companies get wiped out because they are tightly wed to their current business model while the world passes them by.

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Another Consensus-Decision-Making Failure: Australia’s Electricity Blackouts!

This past January, South Australia, one of the six states that make up the country of Australia, suffered a severe electricity outage. One month later, the city of Adelaide within South Australia had a major electricity black out that impacted 40,000 residents. In each case, the state government simply said that the cause was “lack of sufficient generating capacity, given the unusual heat the region was experiencing.”

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Unilever – The Socially-Responsible Loser!

Fortune Magazine does a daily newsletter and recently the lead article was about Unilever’s CEO and the observation that he has become the poster boy for responsible capitalism. The author claimed that this individual was clearly the most adamant corporate leader in insisting his company operate for the good of society, not just shareholders. The Fortune writer pointed out that this Unilever leader, and his social-program focus, will be the feature story in the upcoming issue of Fortune Magazine.

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Trump’s Twitter Habit: A Leadership Lesson?

The general public, the media and especially members of the U.S. Government have been shocked at President Donald Trump’s propensity to use Twitter multiple times daily in order to make sure people understand how he is thinking. Putting aside whether you like what he is saying or not, it’s impressive how clearly his brief messages have been communicating the general direction that he wants to take the country.

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