“Leaders & Laggards” is a periodic series that examines individual corporate leaders who have used strong views and values to impact positive action versus those whom have not.
Tom Chapman, Chairman & CEO, Equifax. In a bold Old School Strikes Back move, Chapman and his PR team penned a piece on identity theft for The Wall Street Journal. It’s hard to tell where Chapman’s true interests lie – isn’t he supposed to be retiring? But CEOs taking strong stands on difficult issues are always worth applauding. Even outgoing ones nicknamed the General.
Kevin Rollins, President & CEO, Dell Computer Corp. Rollins represents the opposite of what many perceive to be leadership brand. Under-stated, subjugated ego, long-time number two, etc. But that’s just the point. Rather than making things all about himself, Rollins simply leads, clarifies and executes. Results speak volumes.
Jeff Brotman, CEO, Costco. Great company, unknown leader. See a pattern forming here? Brotman’s lazer-like focus on the small business customer has propelled Costco way past Wal-Mart/Sam Club’s. Triple the profits with 218 fewer stores. A quote from a recent Business 2.0 profile says it all: “We want to be great in 50 years.” When was the last time you heard any CEO stand for something like that?
Saul Palmisano, CEO, IBM. Faulty execution. Playing the blame game. Hiding out in North Charleston, S.C., for the annual meeting. IBM shareholders will soon break out into song, “Bring Back Lou (Gerstner) to run Big Blue.” The company’s newest branding gimmickry, “The Other IBM,” deserves words, too, but we’re out of room and patience.
Richard Reese, CEO, Iron Mountain. Gee, Wally, the turnips did fall off the truck this time. Not once but twice. In case you’re not familiar with Reese and Iron Mountain, consider Bank of America and Time Warner’s recent bouts with lost customer data. Iron Mountain physically lost back-up tapes in both cases on separate deliveries. No wonder demand exists for more secure, encrypted data transmission. A rare Laggard kudos should be granted, however, for Iron Mountain’s effective crisis management. There probably isn’t anyone outside technology circles that recognizes the company or leader.
Steve Jobs. Many will recognize this household name as a technology and innovation icon. Too bad he isn’t similarly versed in the Constitution. Proving once again that even great ones can have their moments, Jobs has been fighting to have an unflattering biography removed from bookstore shelves, including copies at Apple Computer retail stores. No books have been burned yet that we know of. Perhaps they’re just waiting for the downloadable version on their iPod?
The Pointe is produced by Point of View, LLC, a leadership brand consultancy in Atlanta. For related background, please contact Jeremy Garlington, 404-606-0637, email@example.com or visit www.povblogger.blogspot.com.