Raising the level of your leadership

What A Difference A Year Makes

2012-2013It wasn’t long ago that HP (Hewlett-Packard) was out of favor with investors, employees, customers, and the always-quick-to-pile-on business press; the stock was in free-fall and the previous CEO had been fired after only eleven months on the job. Meg Whitman was named CEO in September 2011, but after about a year on the job, The Guardian (UK) headlined an article with Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman Is Facing An Unwinnable Fight.

However, only seven months later, Forbes (in its June 10, 2013 issue) described Whitman as The Reluctant Savior Of Hewlett-Packard (by George Anders). The stock price has recovered, employee morale is recovering, customers are returning, and the Board is happy: “She’s the best CEO the company has had since its founders.”

Reading the Forbes article is worth your time: http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2013/05/22/meg-whitman-jolts-hp-as-its-reluctant-savior/. Two things about Whitman’s leadership that really resonated with me are:

#1 She “…knows that turnarounds call for repairing hundreds of small things rather than betting everything on a miracle cure that might be a mirage.”

#2 She purged the company of CEO Disease: executive parking lot—gone; CEO office—gone (she works from a cubicle); five star hotel bills—gone (she stays at Marriott Courtyards when possible).

What a difference a year makes! Ever heard that before? Well, it’s not always true. A year only makes a difference if that year is different in a positive way from the years that came before. If nothing changes, nothing will change. Meg Whitman is making sure that things change—things that ought to change.

How about you? Do you want things to be different a year from now in your personal life or at your company/church/home? It hinges on what YOU will do differently, starting now. Quit waiting on a miracle or someone else. You are the key to change—to the turnaround. Get started today.

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© Copyright 2013 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company

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