Return to Greatness - The Need
"General Motors Leadership Doesn't Get It," Says Leadership Expert
"The automaker is paying the price for neglecting a key strategic driver: a leadership strategy."
Williamstown, MA December 1, 2005 -- Leadership expert, Brent Filson, says that the recent job cuts and reorganization of General Motors is not so much the result of marketplace dynamics but of the company's relentless leadership failings.
"The GM leaders who are driving the cuts are missing the point," says Filson, founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc., a corporate consultancy. "Sure, they have a cost cutting strategy. All manufacturers must be continuously reducing costs -- at least three to five percent a year. But what the GM leaders are neglecting is a strategy that works in tandem with cost cutting: That's a Leadership Strategy."
Filson, having worked with thousands of leaders during the past 21 years in top companies worldwide, says a Leadership Strategy can be far more important to a company's success than a standard business strategy. "A business strategy seeks to marshal an organization's functions around central, organizing concepts," Filson observes. "A Leadership Strategy, on the other hand, seeks to obtain, organize, and direct the heartfelt commitment of the people who must carry out the strategy. A Leadership Strategy takes a separate vision, separate funding, separate training, and separate installation and implementation. It involves bringing middle management and small-unit leaders into the picture rather than leaving them out in the cold as cost cutting usually does. The business strategy is the sail, the Leadership Strategy the ballast. Without a Leadership Strategy, most business strategies capsize."
Filson says that General Motors like so many organizations lacking Leadership Strategies know how to develop and implement cost cutting strategies. "Cost cutting is not complicated. But you can't cost-cut your way to success. And that's where the Leadership Strategy comes in. A Leadership Strategy can help the company get great results, both in the bottom and top lines. Companies that don't have a Leadership Strategy, if not in name at least in effect, are missing out on colossal streams of revenue."
The author of 23 books, Brent Filson first learned about leadership as a Marine Corps rifle platoon commander. For the past 20 years, as a civilian, he has helped thousands of leaders in major companies worldwide achieve sizable and continual increases in results. He has published many books and hundreds of articles on leadership, developed motivational leadership strategies and created and instituted leadership educational and training programs. He has lectured at Columbia University, M.I.T., Wake Forest, Villanova and many other universities. Recently, he has conducted more than 125 radio interviews dealing with leadership in today's world.
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