When the new CEO of Campbell’s Soups was put into the job in 2011, she was faced with some big issues; the innovation pipeline was virtually dry and sales of the core products were declining. Even worse, she sensed very little energy within the organization.
Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog
Archive for September, 2014
I read an interesting article recently about a start-up of a few years ago called Grockit. It had only 15 employees and was focused on launching a set of online education tools based on a game that would teach students math, English, and other subjects. The CEO of the organization was the key driver of the effort and when the company was right in the midst of developing a beta version of the software, he was riding home on his Vespa scooter and got hit by a truck. The injuries were serious; broken ribs, lacerations, and most critically, a kidney that was severely damaged.
Several years ago leadership guru Rosabeth Moss Kanter described a memorable way to think about the flexibility needed in successfully leading an organization. Specifically, there are times when you need to step way back and look at a broad view of a situation, which she calls “zooming out,” while at other times you need to “zoom in,” looking closely at a particular area to see in detail what is going on. Here are two examples of failure in this area.
Several years ago there was an article in the Harvard Business Review that really stuck with me. It was about an individual moving into a new managerial job and what it would take to become a great leader of that new organization versus just an adequate leader. While the author went into a whole bunch of different issues related to the topic, what I took away, when I blended it with my own set of battle scars from decades in the business world, was a basic framework for thinking about the key dimensions of a leader’s role.