Bill George is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He has authored four best-selling books, 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis, True North, Finding Your True North, and Authentic Leadership.
Bill is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Medtronic.
He joined Medtronic in 1989 as President and Chief Operating Officer, was Chief Executive Officer from 1991-2001, and Chairman of the Board from 1996 to 2002. Under his leadership, Medtronic’s market capitalization grew from $1.1 billion to $60 billion, averaging 35% per year.
Earlier in his career, he was an executive with Honeywell and Litton Industries and served in the U.S. Department of Defense.
Bill currently serves as a director of ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs, and also recently served on the boards of Novartis and Target Corporation. He is also currently a trustee of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, World Economic Forum USA and the Guthrie Theater. He has served as chair of the board of Allina Health System, Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, United Way of the Greater Twin Cities, and Advamed.
He has been named one of “Top 25 Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years” by PBS, “Executive of the Year-2001″ by the Academy of Management, and “Director of the Year-2001-02″ by the National Association of Corporate Directors. Mr. George has made frequent appearances on television and radio, including: The Charlie Rose Show, The Today Show, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, NOW, CNBC, Bloomberg News, and NPR. His articles have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and numerous other publications.
Fifty years ago , America had General Motors and Alfred P. Sloan. One CEO—one decision-maker. “If you do it right 51 percent of the time you, will end up a hero.” Today , America has Zappos and Tony Hsieh. One CEO—millions of decision makers. “Customer service shouldn’t be just a department, it should be the entire company.”
Forty years ago , news seekers had Walter Cronkite. Today , they have more than 100 million independent blogs.
Thirty years ago , potential customers had interruptive TV and radio commercials. Today, they have brands competing to deliver free trials and no-strings-attached value.
Twenty years ago , leaders couldn’t communicate with audiences after leaving the podium. Today, they can use social networks and blogs to stay completely connected.
Ten years ago , customers had toll-free, voice-automated complaint departments. Today, they have live-chat and real-time access to companies on Twitter.
Yesterday , the old ways of doing things were going away. Today , they’re gone.
2010 is more than the first year in a new decade. It marks the end...