One of the best business books I’ve read recently is Jim Collin’s Good to Great. One of Jim’s key elements in defining why a company becomes even more successful, is the style of the CEO. Collins points out that, of the companies he studied, the most successful ones had CEOs that he describes as “Level 5 leaders”. See if this description reminds you of anyone:
“Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. It’s not that Level 5 leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious – but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.”
Compare this to HP’s former CEO, Carly. I remember being shocked to see on the HP website a video of Carly talking about HP’s servers, and differentiating them from competitive offerings. Not only was she not effective, but the material is something you would expect a sales rep to present. She was pitching product! It was clear to me that ego was the reason for her presentation, not success of the institution.
If you look at videos of Mark Hurd, you will find keynote speeches discussing corporate strategy.
Mark has rallied the company to focus on success in the eyes of their customers. I’m betting on their success.
After I wrote this, Forbes wrote an article called The UnCarly
that fully supports my comments. In fact, for the article, Mark refused to pose for any pictures alone. For him, it’s about the success of HP.
Glenn Gow is an expert in marketing performance, Coach, Board Advisor, Author, Speaker, Podcast Host and Founder & Advisor of Crimson Marketing. Follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+. To get a free copy of Crimson’s One-Page Marketing Metrics Funnel, visit here.