Challenges for Emerging Leaders: Bringing the authenticity back into Leadership

Nov 6, 04

Consider the following situations:

Steve Gomo, a mid level manager was asked to present the capital budget to the Hewlett-Packard Board of Directors because the executive who normally did it was not available at that time. Both Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard were known to be tough taskmasters. During the meeting, while Gomo did a great job, he also ended up disagreeing with Hewlett on a process followed in handling financial data. At the end of the presentation, the only thing Gomo wanted to do was gather his papers and exit as quickly as possible. Just before he left, Packard stood up and said “I want it recorded in the minutes of the meeting
that this was one of the best presentation on capital budget that this board has ever received,” shaking Gomo’s hand.

Gomo, glowing inside, made his exit, shares this about that incident. “There was no reason for Packard to do that- except to make a young kid feel good. I will never forget that as long as I live.”

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks got a call in the middle of the night that three of his employees had been murdered in a botched robbery in Washington, DC. Stunned, he immediately chartered a plane and arrived in DC before nine that morning. He personally took charge of the situation, stayed for a week, visiting the store, working with the police, meeting with the victims’ families, attending the funerals.

Sridhar, CEO of XID Technologies Pte Ltd has this to say about one of his former bosses at Siemens in Germany, ?he used to speak with each and every of his 800 employees between 1st December and Christmas to understand them holistically ? and solve a few of their personal problems during the year. People were ready to go through troubled times with him due to the ?trust? he had created, always accepting if he made a mistake and working towards a common goal. From the gate-keeper to CEO, all the employees were IP focused and created more than 3800 patents and commercialized about 1000 of them.?

  • What is common to all these leaders?
  • How would a colleague or subordinate speak of you today?
  • What would you do any of the above situations?
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