Published 6th of April 2023 by Nina

Harvard Professor and Ex CEO Medtronic Bill George Highlights the Impact of a 'True North,' Authentic Leadership and an Open and Learning Culture

Published earlier today by McKinsey & Company’s Carolyn Dewar is a fascinating interview with Harvard Business School Professor and former Medtronic CEO Bill George. The fresh insights threaded together include not only reflections on his own experiences as a CEO but also what he sees in other leaders, with emphasis on the power of a ‘true north’; authenticity in #leadership; and the impact of an open, learning #culture.

In my work as a #Coach to CEOs and leadership teams, George’s reflections resonated. I have witnessed directly the marked shift when teams have a "consequential and compelling purpose” (to use the coinage of Harvard's Ruth Wageman and Richard Hackman). It gets people out of bed in the morning, specifically when they see the role that they can play in delivering that #purpose.

Even greater individual, team and organisational energy comes when #business leaders create an #environment which allows individuals and teams to leverage strengths; organising them around what George refers to as their “sweet spot.”

George points to the effect of authentic leadership an open and #learning culture in his reference to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's stewardship: Nadella actively sought to change the context to ensure Microsoft went from a “group of know-it-alls to a group of ‘learn-it-alls.” I know from my own engagement with the company that this was energising for individuals and teams.

And make no mistake, this isn't an exercise in tree hugging!  As George also points out when he references the power of #Coaching in this interview, healthy challenge is paramount. It supports the meaningfulness to the true north, playing of sweet spots and imbuing of organisational energy which, in turn, engender business shifts which drive effectiveness, results and #value.

What might you shift to create more meaning, belief and energy in yourself, your team, your organisation or your community?

#betterbusiness #betterleadership #future


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