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:

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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Silicon Valley’s Crisis:  An Emerging Lack of Trust!

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.

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Volkswagen: A Victim of Silos and Fiefdoms?

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.

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Tesla: Time for Adult Supervision?

Tesla Motors has been all over the financial news recently, and usually not for positive reasons. Here are three fundamental problems they are having: 1.) Unreliable Sales Forecasts – Tesla has a long history of over-promising and under-delivering. The latest example comes from their forecasts of 2016 sales. In Q3 of 2015, they predicted the […]

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Learning from the Slow Death of an Icon

It was 1886 when Richards Sears and Alvah Roebuck started up the retailer that took the name Sears and Roebuck. It began as a mail order operation and it wasn’t until 1925 that it began to open stores, while aggressively marketing the famous Sears catalog. By the 1950’s and 60’s, the Sears catalog was found in most homes and represented the equivalent of Amazon in those days. It was a super convenient way for consumers to order things over the phone or by mail and have them delivered. From the mid 20’s until 1989, this retailer grew into a true American icon.

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A Reminder from John Glenn and the U.S. Space Program

John Glenn’s recent death reminds us that as the first man in space in 1961, he set off a hugely successful space program that demonstrated a remarkable track record of excellent execution of very risky journeys. There are few blemishes on its record and you can really learn from studying the one that sticks in everyone’s mind, namely, the disastrous launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 when the entire crew died in a disastrous explosion of the rocket and put the entire space program at risk.

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No Performance Appraisals? Facebook Doesn’t Agree!

Over the last couple of years, many HR professionals have argued that performance appraisals should be abandoned. Their point is they are awkward to give and they are biased. They stick people in boxes and leave people waiting far too long for feedback. By the end of 2015, over 30 of the Fortune 500 companies have taken their advice and ditched performance evaluations all together.

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Samsung Note 7: Rushed, Organizational Chaos!

In recent years, Samsung has been the smartphone market leader. While Apple makes the most profit, Samsung sells the most units. Its unit market share is 22% globally while Apple’s is at 13%. In the spring of 2016, rumors were rampant that the iPhone 7, scheduled to launch in the fall, would lack any real innovation. Samsung smelled an opportunity, moved up the introduction of the Galaxy Note 7 to August 19, and put enormous pressure on its suppliers to beat the iPhone 7 to the marketplace.

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