IBM hasn’t given up the goals, but the values are premier. Sam has gone around the world teaching them. Whether you work for IBM in Greece, South Africa, Indonesia, or Alabama, you know the values well enough to carry them out in your own context.
S+B: What worries you about the next generation of leaders?
GEORGE: A lot of young people are going up the staff route and not getting the experience of leadership early on. Many of the best leaders in my classroom are military leaders, because they’ve had real experience on two or three tours of duty in Iraq. They can recognize the times when you have to violate the rules to adapt to the circumstance.
Emotional intelligence also matters. As Dick Kovacevich of Wells Fargo says, “Above the 99th percentile of intelligence, there is an inverse correlation between leadership and intelligence.” In other words, many exceptionally intelligent leaders try to be the smartest person in the room and impose their views. They don’t get the best out of their people. Leadership is about much more than IQ, and requires you to develop yourself through the mosaic of all your experiences.
Reprint No. 07409
Amy Bernstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) is executive editor of strategy+business.