Annotated master (“the works”) presentation/ Tom Peters’ Re-Imagine excellence!


“AS LEADERS, WOMEN RULE: New Studies find that female managers outshine their male counterparts in almost every measure” TITLE/ Special Report/ BusinessWeek



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AS LEADERS, WOMEN RULE: New Studies find that female managers outshine their male counterparts in almost every measure” TITLE/ Special Report/ BusinessWeek

  • From Dan Rockwell/Leadership Freak/0924.14: “In my experience, women make much better executives than men,” says Kip Tindell author of the forthcoming UNCONTAINABLE and CEO of The Container Store. Four areas women are especially better: Communication. Listening. Collaboration. Teamwork. Seven other areas women are better: Taking initiative. Self-development. Integrity. Drive. Developing others. Inspiring. Building relationships.

Women’s Strengths Match New Economy Imperatives: Link [rather than rank] workers; favor interactive-collaborative leadership style [empowerment beats top-down decision making]; sustain fruitful collaborations; comfortable with sharing information; see redistribution of power as victory, not surrender; favor multi-dimensional feedback; value technical & interpersonal skills, individual & group contributions equally; readily accept ambiguity; honor intuition as well as pure “rationality”; inherently flexible; appreciate cultural diversity. Source: Judy B. Rosener, America’s Competitive Secret: Women Managers

  • In the “modern” organization, huffing and puffing and shouting orders is dying. Gaining cooperation of scattered team members who don’t “report to” the [formally designated] leader is the emergent norm. Which plays to women’s strengths.

Women’s Negotiating Strengths *Ability to put themselves in their counterparts’ shoes *Comprehensive, attentive and detailed communication style *Empathy that facilitates trust-building *Curious and attentive listening *Less competitive attitude *Strong sense of fairness and ability to persuade *Proactive risk manager *Collaborative decision-making Source: Horacio Falcao, Cover story/May 2006, World Business, “Say It Like a Woman: Why the 21st-century negotiator will need the female touch”

  • Quite a list, eh?
  • For One (BIG) Thing …
  • “McKinsey & Company found that the international companies with more women on their corporate boards far outperformed the average company in return on equity and other measures. Operating profit was … 56% higher.”
  • Source: Nicholas Kristof, “Twitter, Women, and Power,” NYTimes, 1024.13
  • 56

“Headline 2020: Women Hold 80 Percent of Management and Professional Jobs” Source: The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World in the Next 20 Years, James Canton

  • Context for the above.
  • A new world order.

Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl: And Why You Should Too —Louann Lofton

Portrait of a Female Investor 1. Trade less than men do 2. Exhibit less overconfidence—more likely to know what they don’t know 3. Shun risk more than male investors do 4. Less optimistic, more realistic than their male counterparts 5. Put in more time and effort researching possible investments—consider details and alternate points of view 6. More immune to peer pressure—tend to make decisions the same way regardless of who’s watching 7. Learn from their mistakes 8. Have less testosterone than men do, making them less willing to take extreme risks, which, in turn, could lead to less extreme market cycles Source: Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl: And Why You Should Too, Louann Lofton, Chapter 2, “The Science Behind the Girl”

  • Sparkling list of attributes.
  • (Could we have avoided the Great Recession if women had run the investment world?)
  • THE MORAL IMPERATIVE
  • CIRCA 2014

THE MORAL IMPERATIVE: PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT

CORPORATE MANDATE #1 2014: Your principal moral obligation as a leader is to develop the skillset, “soft” and “hard,” of every one of the people in your charge (temporary as well as semi-permanent) to the maximum extent of your abilities. The good news: This is also the #1 mid- to long-term … profit maximization strategy!

  • To my way of thinking, this is by far the most important point considered in this presentation.

The notion that corporate law requires directors, executives, and employees to maximize shareholder wealth simply isn’t true. There is no solid legal support for the claim that directors and executives in U.S. public corporations have an enforceable legal duty to maximize shareholder wealth. The idea is fable.” —Lynn Stout, professor of corporate and business law, Cornell law school, in … The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public

  • Though I believe that people development is the keystone of profit maximization, it will not happen overnight. Short-termism is, alas, often the excuse for not pursuing this path—it comes in the guise of ‘it fails to maximize shareholder value.” It’s a long story, but fact is shareholder value maximization is in no way a corporate legal imperative. (The book cited in this slide is a peach.)
  • In Good Business, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi argues persuasively that business has become the center of society. As such, an obligation to community is front & center. Business as societal bedrock, has the RESPONSIBILITY to increase the “SUM OF HUMAN WELL-BEING.”
  • Business is NOT "part of the community." In terms of how adults collectively spend their waking hours … BUSINESS IS THE COMMUNITY. And should act accordingly. The (REALLY) good news: Community mindedness
  • is a great way (THE best way?) to have spirited/committed/ customer-centric work force—and, ultimately, increase (maximize?) profitability!
  • I love this!
  • (And “buy it” 100%.)
  • (Read it. Re-read it. Think about it. Discuss it. Act on it.)
  • Oath of Office: Managers/Servant Leaders
  • Our goal is to serve our customers brilliantly and profitably over
  • the long haul.
  • Serving our customers brilliantly and profitably over the long
  • haul is a product of brilliantly serving, over the long haul, the
  • people who serve the customer.
  • Hence, our job as leaders—the alpha and the omega and
  • everything in between—is abetting the sustained growth
  • and success and engagement and enthusiasm and
  • commitment to Excellence of those, one at a time, who
  • directly or indirectly serve the ultimate customer.
  • We—leaders of every stripe—are in the “Human Growth and
  • Development and Success and Aspiration to Excellence
  • business.”
  • “We” (leaders) only grow when “they” (each and every one of our colleagues) are
  • growing.
  • “We” (leaders) only succeed when “they” (each and every one of our colleagues)
  • are succeeding.
  • “We” (leaders) only energetically march toward Excellence when
  • “they” (each and every one of our colleagues) are energetically marching
  • toward Excellence.
  • Period.
  • Please consider.
  • “The role of the Director is to create a space where the actors and actresses can become more than they’ve ever been before,
  • more than they’ve dreamed of being.”
  • —Robert Altman, Oscar acceptance speech
  • Perfecto.
  • (And—damn it—as applicable to part-timers as movie stars.)
  • The Memories That Matter
  • The people you developed who went on to
  • stellar accomplishments inside or outside
  • the company.
  • The (no more than) two or three people you developed who went on to
  • create stellar institutions of their own.
  • The long shots (people with “a certain something”) you bet on who
  • surprised themselves—and your peers.
  • The people of all stripes who 2/5/10/20 years
  • later say “You made a difference in my life,”
  • “Your belief in me changed everything.”
  • The sort of/character of people you hired in general. (And the bad
  • apples you chucked out despite some stellar traits.)
  • A handful of projects (a half dozen at most) you doggedly pursued that
  • still make you smile and which fundamentally changed the way
  • things are done inside or outside the company/industry.
  • The supercharged camaraderie of a handful of Great Teams aiming to
  • “change the world.”
  • This is the sort of thing you’ll look back on at my age—71. Not the $$$ wealth you accumulated.
  • (This is the first part of a longer list I developed for a talk to the top management team of a $5-billion chemical company. I.e., I was addressing high-ranking general managers.)
  • “In a way, the world is a great liar.
  • “It shows you it worships and admires money, but at the end of the day it doesn’t.
  • “It says it adores fame and celebrity, but it doesn’t, not really.
  • “The world admires, and wants to hold on to, and not lose, goodness. It admires virtue. At the end it gives its greatest tributes to generosity, honesty, courage, mercy, talents well used, talents that, brought into the world, make it better. That’s what it really admires. That’s what we talk about in eulogies, because that’s what’s important. We don’t say, ‘The thing about Joe was he was rich!’
  • “We say, if we can …
  • ‘The thing about Joe was he took good care of people.’”
  • —Peggy Noonan, “A Life’s Lesson,” on the astounding response to the passing of Tim Russert, the Wall Street Journal, June 21–22, 2008



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