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Author Archives: Martin Willoughby

A renewal of innovation

In Microsoft’s early years, the company had a rigorous performance evaluation methodology. The highest score was a 5.0 rating, which was very difficult to achieve. While there were a number of rewards that came along with this rating, the most popular was that it meant you received a one-on-one meeting with Bill Gates. What Gates obviously understood is the power ...

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Bowdon finds niche for business

One of the attributes of great leaders is vision. They are able to clearly see and execute toward a vision of the future. We all face uncertainty and change. As a kid, I had one of those toy magic eight balls that you could shake and find your answer to any question. Unfortunately, no such magic answers exist. None of ...

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Priorities give Smith a life path

We live in a complex world. Organizations face a barrage of information and choices about how to proceed. The job of the leader is to make sense of all this and give direction. This involves the critical skill of clarification. I have found that great leaders know how to step back and sort through the complexity to create clarity and ...

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Bringing in measurable returns

I am pleased that we are seeing more organizations that are identifying and clarifying their core values. In other words, they are purposeful in thinking through what they stand for. Research has shown that values-based organization actually have measurable returns on the investment in being a values based organization. This return on values (ROV) can often be overlooked as a ...

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Knowing what is most important

Great organizations have both effective leaders and managers. It is important then to understand the distinction between leading and managing. Leadership guru John P. Kotter stated, “Leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary systems of action. Both are necessary for success in an increasingly complex and volatile business environment.” In a chaotic marketplace, it is crucial to have leaders ...

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Having ‘Drive’

Cornell leads successful Triton organization One of the challenges of leadership is to build an organization where people enjoy what they do and actually want to show up for work and give it their best. This is no easy task and many organizations struggle with a “punch the clock” culture that ultimately results in mediocre performance and results. We are ...

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Inspired by a vision

Parrott has view of education to lead Mississippi ahead What have you done for me lately?” Unfortunately, the attitude behind this question reflects our current cultural expectations. Technology advances and an insatiable desire for real time change have created a pressure cooker environment for today’s leaders. In the corporate world, a segment of noisy analysts and financial traders narrowly focus ...

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Business from Bolivia

Eduardo a thoughtful leader of Mississippi College business school Mississippi is home to many fine colleges and universities, and I’m always interested in learning more about those who are shaping tomorrow’s leaders. I recently had the opportunity to visit with Dr. Marcelo Eduardo, the dean of the School of Business at Mississippi College. He shared with me his unique journey ...

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Loving business and industry

It is certainly a worthy effort to actively recruit new businesses to the state. Companies that choose to relocate or open a plant in Mississippi obviously can have a huge impact (e.g., Nissan). However, it is equally important to foster the growth and success of our existing businesses and budding entrepreneurs. It reminds me of the old Stephen Stills song ...

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Coaching for success

As I have visited with leaders across the state, I have noted how many of them reference the influence of their experiences in sports; and in particular, the impact their coaches had on their character and success. I personally believe that the best leadership model is to be a great coach. Great coaches know how to get the most out ...

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