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Bill George

Harvard Business School Professor, former Medtronic CEO

To Beat COVID-19, President Trump Should Issue National “Shelter in Place” Order

Each day the COVID-19 crisis worsens in the United States. Cases in the last three days have doubled. The number of deaths has also doubled. Yet we still grossly undercount the number of cases because we only test the sickest people. The curves tracking the spread of the disease and death rates all race upward….

Leading In Crisis

The current economic crisis is providing significant challenges for leaders throughout the business, government, and nonprofit sectors. Their ability to lead in a crisis will be sorely tested and will often determine whether their institutions fail or survive the crisis. The best leaders are those who are wise enough to use crises like these to…

5 Tips For Practicing Self-Care During COVID-19

As COVID-19 spreads across America and around the world, public health experts predict that a large % of us will be exposed to it. To enable yourself to heal, you must strengthen your immune system. Here are 5 ways of Self-Care that you can practice every day: Eat a healthy diet, lots of vegetables &…

HBSWK: These Coronavirus Heroes Show Us How Crisis Leadership Works

Now is the time for leaders to inspire their organizations to help the world through the COVID-19 crisis. Bill George has a list of authentic leaders who are up to the challenge. We are in the greatest crisis of our lifetimes—even worse than 9/11 and the 2008-09 financial meltdown that triggered the Great Recession. This crisis is…

The Next Great Recession Has Already Begun

Remember the 2008 financial crisis? Well, the next Great Recession began this past week, as the U.S. virtually shut down its economy to prevent further spread of COVID-19. First, the NBA suspended its season, followed in rapid succession by the NHL, the MLS, the MLB, and most recently, the PGA’s cancellation of the 2020 Masters golf tournament. Then Broadway…

US President Faces A Triple Threat of Leadership Crises

President Donald Trump and his administration now face three major crises occurring simultaneously. First, there’s the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S., with over 1,000 cases and 38 deaths reported. Then there’s the oil price war that’s led to a drop in crude oil prices (down to $31.13 per barrel). And finally, there’s the growing…

Podcast: Leading With Purpose With Nick Craig

I am honored to be the inaugural interview of my good friend Nick Craig’s new Podcast – “Leading From Purpose.” You can watch the video version here or listen to the audio version on Spotify here. We discuss the impact of Authentic Leadership in times of crisis – much like the world is facing today. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqdSiTcHJBHlSl7zjjfgdsg Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/39bkzZEmBDHH5MLt0dI3vc

Fortune: Inside Xerox’s Audacious Quest To Buy Much Bigger Rival HP

John Visentin is speaking with the simmering impatience of someone who’s 100% sure his opponents are 100% wrong. “They want to block us with a poison pill, telling their investors they aren’t bright enough to make up their own minds,” he fumes. “That really annoys me!” The “they” here is HP Inc. And Visentin, CEO of venerable printer-maker Xerox Holdings,…

True North By Bill George Selected As One Of 25 Best Leadership Books Of All Time

We are very proud to announce that True North has been selected as one of the 25 Best Leadership Books of All-Time by Soundview. It is a privilege to be included with such great authors as Warren Bennis, Peter Drucker, Daniel Goleman, Sun Tzu, Jim Collins, Clay Christensen, Stephen Covey, John Kotter and Dale Carnegie. Here is…

Truth, Transparency & Trust: The 3 T’s of True North Leaders

In working with many authentic leaders, I have learned that the three keys to becoming a True North Leader are Truth, Transparency and Trust. All three are essential qualities for building authentic relationships with your colleagues and teammates. Do you want to become a True North Leader? First, you must discover your True North. When…

Why the Era of Free Trade May Be Coming to an End

For the past two years the U.S. and other leading economies have engaged in a series of trade wars with no end in sight, and with populists gaining popularity around the world, national issues are increasingly taking precedence over the benefits of globalization. During a trip to China last week where I was teaching a…

The United States Needs Responsible Capitalism

During the last four decades, the U.S. has experienced a form of capitalism that has led to growing economic inequality and increasing dissatisfaction with our capitalist system—a discontent highlighted by prominent politicians like presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who embrace tenets of democratic socialism. As economist Joseph Stiglitz recently warned, “[T]he American…

Fortune: The Fallacy Of Medicare For All

Presidential candidate and self-described Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders currently leads the New Hampshire polls for the Democratic nomination while campaigning on a platform that calls for Medicare for All. Senator Kamala Harris and some other Democratic presidential candidates are jumping on board the Medicare for All bandwagon, which would extend the government-run health care insurance system to all Americans….

HBR Podcast: Can Mark Zuckerberg Rebuild Trust in Facebook?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced a “crucible moment,” a point in his life that would test him and potentially shape him as a leader, in March 2018 when it was discovered that Cambridge Analytica had accessed data from 87 million Facebook accounts. Harvard Business School professor, and former chairman and CEO of Medtronic, Bill George discusses his…

Fortune: Responsible Capitalism Will Be The U.S.’s Saving Grace

Last Thursday, Kraft Heinz announced a $15.4 billion write down of its mega-brands and disclosed an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of its accounting practices. Consequently, its stock dropped 27% the next day and is down 62% from its peak two years ago. One more short-term cost cutter bites the dust. Kraft Heinz is getting criticism from all directions…

Fortune: Why It Is So Hard to Be an Authentic Leader

In the past decade, companies have shifted away from competency leadership models to the authentic leadership development model, prompting the Harvard Business Review to declare that “authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership.” Authentic leadership programs help leaders develop their character, their values, and the inner side of their leadership, which are essential to leading other people….

Fortune: These Are the Challenges Tech Giants Will Face in 2019

For the past decade, the technology giants—Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Tesla, Uber—have dominated the business world. Just last year, their stock prices appeared to be on an endless upward trajectory. No longer. The past year presented the major technology companies with multiple difficulties, and 2019 promises to be even more challenging. Expect extensive news coverage of how Russian…

HBSWK: These 4 CEOs Created a New Standard of Leadership

At the height of the 2008 financial crisis, these four corporate leaders stepped forward—and changed how we think of leadership forever, says Bill George. Four titans who defined a new era in business during the past decade recently concluded their terms: PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi, Unilever’s Paul Polman, Mayo Clinic’s John Noseworthy, and US Bancorp’s Richard Davis….

USA Today: Is Jeff Bezos Untouchable Now That He’s Taking on National Enquirer?

By Edward Baig for USA Today Before his bombshell accusation that American Media Inc. (AMI) was trying to extort and blackmail him, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was cast in some corners as a villain. With Bezos counterpunching hard against the National Enquirer publisher, the richest guy in the world may not only come off as hero of sorts…

Twin Cities Business: Leaders in Giving: People

A look at philanthropic efforts by corporate givers. Jacquie Berglund Jacquie Berglund is founder and CEO of Finnegans Brew Co., which donates all of its profits to hunger relief in the markets where its craft beer is sold. Last year, Berglund opened the Finnegans Brewery & Taproom in Minneapolis. The Elliot Park complex includes the…

CNBC: GSK, Pfizer and GE Shift Away From Diversification In Latest Round of Health-Care Deals

GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and General Electric all made key announcements Wednesday signaling that health-care companies are shifting to focus their businesses on their greatest strengths and abandoning the diversification strategies that have characterized health care for the past two decades. First, a quick summary of their moves: GSK and Pfizer announced that they are merging their consumer businesses into a…

Star Tribune: Why Earl Bakken’s Legacy Will Enhance Minnesota For Years To Come

Bakken was always two decades ahead of his time, causing many people to doubt his ideas, but he never wavered, Bill George writes. Earl Bakken’s death on Oct. 21 at his beloved Hawaii home sent reverberations back to Minnesota. He leaves behind a powerful legacy that will impact Minnesotans for generations to come. Having known…

Lead True: Authentic Leadership Rediscovered

Following Your True North through Real-World Challenges My New eBook – Published September 12, 2018 Lead True, my new eBook, is now available for FREE download. To get your copy, follow the link at the end of this article. I decided to make it free so more leaders like you will read it. My only…