-as-usual demeanor, dispensing first with ongoing business before turning to the takeover. Our research exposed Level 5 as a key component inside the black box of what it takes to shift a company from good to great. In fact, I gave the research teams explicit instructions to downplay the role of top executives in their analyses of this question so we wouldnt slip into the simplistic credit the leader or blame the leader thinking that is so common today. Over the course of the study, research teams kept saying, We cant ignore the top executives even if we want.
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He appeared regularly on talk shows like the Today Show and Larry King Live, starred in more than 80 commercials, entertained the idea of running for president of the United States, and promoted his autobiography, which sold 7 million copies worldwide. Cain was a typical Level 5 leader in his lack of pretense; he didnt have the kind of inspiring personality that would galvanize the company. The automakers stock rose.9 times higher than the general market about halfway through his tenure. Professional Will Creates superb results, a clear catalyst in the transition from good to great. In short, Level 5 is a very satisfying idea, a truthful idea, a powerful idea, and, to make the move from good to great, very likely an essential idea. And so, like the general who burned the boats upon landing on enemy soil, leaving his troops to succeed or die, Smith announced that Kimberly-Clark would sell its millseven the namesake mill in Kimberly, Wisconsin. The successful organizations all had a Level 5 leader at the time of transition. Furthermore, the absence of Level 5 leadership showed up consistently across the comparison companies. Each had a Level 5 leader at the helm.
The greatest care possible was taken to ensure consistency of information in order make a like-for-like comparison in project costs. But CEO he was, and CEO he remained for 20 years. Attend to people first, strategy second.
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