Download What the Best CEOs Know: 7 Exceptional Leaders and Their by Jeffrey A. Krames PDF

By Jeffrey A. Krames

This article is going past concept and guesswork to examine how seven modern enterprise icons carved their very own paths to the pinnacles of company success, in addition to explains how one can observe those qualities and techniques in your personal occupation.

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As Welch has said many times, it is a badge of honor to get good ideas from someone else. For example, he is the first to admit that Six Sigma, the statistically based quality program that he made wildly popular, was pioneered not by him or by GE, but by the electronics manufacturer Motorola. The key is to make sure that people in your organization search out new ideas from everywhere, especially from competitors. In a learning organization, it is the responsibility of every employee to learn and to constantly monitor the environment for new ideas.

In other words, it must be a reflex or a habit, not something that is practiced sporadically. It is incumbent upon managers to communicate this to employees, and to lead by example. Creating a Learning Infrastructure Welch did not start as GE's chairman with the notion of creating the world's largest learning organization, nor did that accomplishment come easily or quickly. It took many years, lots of sweat and blood, and a series of courageous decisions in the intervening years. He did, however, send the right message almost from the very start: Training would be a top priority at a Welch-headed General Electric.

The company was hemorrhaging, and Gerstner knew that he had to apply tourniquets before planning the patient's future. He had to pull off the greatest turnaround in corporate history—but first, he had to make sure that the company would not be torn into pieces. One IBM is Better Than Eight In December of 1992, IBM's then CEO John Akers developed a plan to break up his company into several smaller units. The plan—to some extent motivated by the Justice Department-inspired break-up of the Bell system into the "Baby Bells"—had many advocates, especially within the company.

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