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.

Yahoo’s Problem: Ignoring Reality and Doing What’s Familiar

Much has been written recently about the problems at Yahoo. When a new leader was hired in 2012, there was a lot of hope. This person was the 20th hire at Google and had helped that start-up become a raging success.

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Six Reasons Why Organizations Fail

Over the years, a lot of business gurus have pontificated on why organizations fail. This is not surprising since on any given day, you are likely to learn about some firm that is struggling to recover from a rash of poor results.

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Leadership Lessons from the Walgreens/Theranos Mess

Over the past four years, Walgreens, the giant drugstore chain, has been executing a plan to spend about $50 million to place in about 40 of its stores a machine developed by the start-up Theranos that supposedly could test tiny samples of blood for dozens of conditions, eliminating the need to take a blood sample from the patient’s arm. Unfortunately, it has turned into a huge disaster.

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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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