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Leadership Lessons From Top Executives


Thu Mar 28 2013


(From Huffington Post)—As chairman and CEO of Citigroup, Sandy Weill ran the world's third largest financial institution with 250,000 employees in 102 countries without a computer and barely knew how to use a cell phone.

Amazon.com soared from a $9 billion to a $70 billion company with Mark Onetto in charge of the supply chain and customer service for the world's largest Internet retailer.


And Whole Foods Market co-CEO and co-founder John Mackey has grown a single store in Austin, Texas, founded in 1978, into an $11 billion Fortune 300 company, and a top U.S. supermarket with more than 340 stores and 70,000 team members worldwide.

I recently interviewed each of these three gifted business leaders at a series of public events in February sponsored by the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

These business leaders came from very different industries: a legendary financial industry leader, the innovative operations guru from the book seller turned-global retail and media powerhouse, and a risk-taker who put natural foods on the map.

What leadership lessons can we glean from three leaders in different industries? They spoke with a common voice that reinforces the virtues of sustainable business and what we should be teaching the next generation of business executives and entrepreneurs.

The message was loud and clear: leadership matters. Emotional intelligence and putting people first are keys to a well-run, values-centered company. And, the most important lesson is that, whether operating in retail, banking, grocery or other industries, the health of today's companies relies more than ever before on creating a reciprocating network of shared value for all stakeholders.


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