On Leadership

The performance of business leaders during the next decade will play a major role in determining not only business but political and social trends for a long time to come. Here are some of the principal reasons:

  1. Business leaders control the economic well-being of and stockholder.
  2. The course of business shapes public opinion.
  3. Business leaders shape public opinion.

So, in addition to his or her prime responsibility of managing his or her enterprise at a profit, the business leader of today is faced with new and larger responsibilities. And, at the same time, the job of managing his or her enterprise at a profit is increasing in complexity. Consequently, the imposition of additional responsibilities makes the nation’s task of developing an adequate number of properly equipped executive leaders a staggering one indeed.
Marvin Bower, 1949

A leader is a man or woman who has the character to build trust and respect and the other qualities and attributes to attract and motivate constituents (followers) and to work with them to achieve the goals in which the leader and the constituents all believe. And leadership can best be learned on the job where people are interacting with each other in real situations.
Marvin Bower, 1996

On Business Values

Basic philosophy, spirit and drive of an organization have far more to do with its relative achievements than do technological or economic resources, organizational structure, innovation and timing. Typical examples of basic beliefs that recur frequently in the most successful corporations:

  1. Maintenance of high ethical standards in external and relationships is essential to maximum success.
  2. Decisions should be based on facts, objectively considered.
  3. The business should be kept in adjustment with the forces at work its environment.
  4. People should be judged on the basis of their performance, not nationality, personality, education, or personal traits and skills.
  5. The business should be administered with a sense of competitive urgency.

Marvin Bower, 1967

Marvin Bower