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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Fortune Magazine recently ran an article on the growing number of examples in Silicon Valley where entrepreneurs have taken a “fake it til you make it” approach to starting a business, only to have the whole thing blow up in embarrassment. Their primary example is Theranos, the blood testing company which, after rising a huge amount of start-up funding, tanked completely after it became known that its technology seldom actually worked. The entrepreneur behind it, who was very persuasive and successful in raising funds, has been banned from owning or operating a medical lab for two years and some investors are suing.
Back in September of 2015, the CEO of Volkswagen was forced to resign just days after the U.S. environmental authorities disclosed that the company had rigged diesel engines to cheat on emissions tests. The disclosure led to civil and criminal litigation against the company, which has pleaded guilty to federal charges including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Government and U.S. consumers.