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For those who have not read any great leaders biographies and theirs accomplishments, the book provide good introduction of all the seven exceptional corporate leaders and their signature strategies. The books should be able to stir reader interest for more serious reading and learning on other more in-depth leadership books. 2. Strengths Krames’s rigorous analysis of each of the CEO and their strategies, provide reader an understanding of what are their strategies and how the strategies implemented and why they were implemented.
The book not only discusses the framework of each of their strategies but also entails some of the example of the leaders’ relevant experience. Through these leaders, the book portrays proven business insights, ideas and innovations of practiced by these world-class organizations. The inclusion of thoughts provoking case studies and self-test “Assessing Your CEO Quotient” at each of the chapters provide interactive learning experience. 3. Weaknesses The book could have provided experience from wider spectrum of leaders from other non-profit organization, corporate leaders from emerging economies and corporate leaders from Asia.
The definition of successful leaders in this book is narrow is the sense its only from the perspective of immediate financial wealth creation. 4. General Learning Benefit The author, being a novice in the area of strategic leadership studies found that the book provide a very good introduction to strategic leadership and corporate strategy. The books open the author mind on the dynamism of strategic and critical thinking of addressing corporate problems. The author found that the “More Lesson From CEO” sections at the end of each chapter were practical and applicable to the author current profession.
Ranking of Learning Benefit of Each CEO Out of all the CEOs the author has learned the most is from Andy Grove. Turning from negative situation to positive though it took resourcefulness to achieved, without real strong courage and determination, many leaders would not succeed. These strong qualities possessed by Grove no doubts would have developed through his early days hardship and this had earned Grove the respect of being a leader. Through his ability see the condition Intel from the perspective of an outsider enable him to prepare Intel for drastic change and turn into a multi-billion dollars business.
The author admired Grove leadership style based on truth telling. Ranking second after Grove is Herb Kelleher. The author learned the important of building performance-based culture in business. Kelleher’s down-to-earth leadership style, by putting customer and employee, putting aside title and protocol caught the attention of the author especially when it came from the leader from big organization like Southwest. Kelleher lean management structure that made him accessible by his front lines supervisor plus his flamboyant and people treatment breed loyalty and commitment from his staff.
Ranking third is Sam Walton. Walton continuous endeavor to be better by learning from his competitors, and remain faithful to his vision to provide lowest cost impressed the author. Normally when organization became big, they will not adopt lowest cost strategy. Lesson that the author draws from Walton leadership style was to lead by example in the aspect of learning from others. Ranking fourth is Bill Gates. Bill Gates leadership approach to knowledge management was definitely a lesson that that the author have learned.
Gates ability to see the future label him as visionary leader. Ranking fifth is Jack Welch. Jack Welch was good corporate strategies. Though through learning organization make GE a great company, his “number one or number two” strategy was mean and neglected the human aspect which the author believe negate the overall leadership pursuit. This strategy though might work with big corporation like GE, might not work on the smaller organization. People commitment to their job could be due to job security. Ranking sixth is Lou Gerstner.
Gerstner approach to put IBM under the scrutiny of its customer and use the market feedback to transform IBM would be expected of him. His previous experience in Nabisco naturally would give IBM a fresh perspective of how to business would be directed. No doubt his leadership abilities would have contributed to his success transforming IBM. Ranking seventh is Michael Dell. Dell approach to build DELL business model surround the customer and his strategy of mass customization would be the natural things to do for highly competitive industry like computers.
Whereas other failed, Dell succeeded to harness the power of Information Technology to build DELL supply chain. Probably other computer makers would have recognized the important of bringing the business closer to the customer but they fail to know how. 6. Other Prominent Leader. Another leader that the author regards to be prominent is Fujio Cho, the president of the Toyota Motor Corporation. Fortune reported that Toyota’s worldwide sales leapt 10%, to 7. 5 million vehicles, posting strong growth in all regions.
Toyota’s profits for fiscal year 2003 exceeded those of GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, and Volkswagen combined. (Annex A) Cho portray his leadership style particularly dedicates his time through interaction with the working group on the production floor, congratulating them of their best achievement. Cho leading by example has earned him admiration and respect from his employees. (Annex B) Cho none compromising stand on environmental issue evident went he lambasted his own company saying “The sense of crisis we feel, despite increasing sales and profits, stems from our fear that we have no kept up.
Particularly fears that we have not kept up with environmental issues… ” (Annex C) To be globally competitive today, according to Cho, a company must be agile, able to make rapid decisions and respond quickly to changing business environments (Annex D) and this factor has brought Toyota to the current level. Cho leadership exemplifies the quest for organization for continuous improvement. Lesson that can be drawn by the author from his leadership and strategy are, his treatment for his employee, passion for quality and meeting customer expectation and respect for the environment.
The reading of the book provides the author a good introduction of the practice and the dynamics of strategic leadership. Based on experiences of these CEOs, the author realized that the application strategic leadership varies depending on the personality of the leadership and the circumstances and type of the organization they are in.