The business world has changed dramatically in recent years, and the standard paradigms of leadership espoused in bestsellers such as Good to Great and In Search of Excellence will be increasingly less relevant going forward. Business leaders need an entirely new model to succeed today and into the future. Peter Georgescu, former CEO of Young & Rubicam, identifies and explains this unprecedented shift, and presents five guiding principles for a new standard of leadership which turns the old model on its head and focuses on the two key sources of value: the customer and the creative employee. In this wonderfully written book he weaves five enduring principles together:
1. Creative capacity and brand value are an organization’s most important assets. In a world of excess supply, these are the factors that will attract and retain customers. And unlike other resources, creativity is inexhaustible.
2. Enlightened leaders inspire creativity through understanding, cooperation, and respect. These attributes will filter through an organization to its customers. The time of the ruthless leader has passed.
3. Competency and execution are as important as ever, but they must be aimed toward building intimacy with the customer. Brand value needs to be a core metric along with margins and profits.
4. Alignment is the critical concept for the 21st century organization. Not only does it integrate knowledge and resources to deliver a superior product or service; it also harmonizes an organization’s competencies, creativity, vision, and values to serve the interests of all stakeholders.
5. Great companies don’t happen without leaders who have transformed themselves. A commitment to integrity at the top creates a benevolent spirit of teamwork that radiates outward to customers. Basic human values in the 21st century are key to any corporation’s success.
Filled with stories taken from his own life experience – both his early personal experiences and his professional view working inside the most powerful companies and brands in the world, this book is rich on many levels.