As CEO and founder of MSCO, Mark Stevens’ voice has been featured in countless publications over the years. This time, the December issue of Leadership Excellence Essentials has published one of Mark’s thought-provoking articles.
The article, entitled Loners At Heart, is about how great leaders are often loners in disguise. Mark claims, “Even more than that, they prefer to be by themselves and ironically, it is this isolationist part of their personas that drive their ability to think, innovate and to inspire others.”
To read more about this and find out the two main epiphanies that Mark believes we can all draw from this, read his article here: http://www.hr.com/en/magazines/all_articles/loners-at-heart-great-leaders-are-often-loners-in-_ihpzesqu.html.
To see the full magazine and articles published from all of the other great influencers included in this month’s magazine, follow this link: http://www.hr.com/en/magazines/leadership_excellence_essentials/december_2015_leadership/.
For more of Mark’s articles and unique point-of-view, connect with him on LinkedIn.
The slide continues. One of the all-time business juggernauts that for generations knew nothing but rising sales and profits, markets to vanquish, raving customers clamoring for more, is imploding in front of our eyes. It appears to be a slow but inevitable train wreck.
I have written about this before, and even as 400,000+plus LinkedIn members agreed, the McD bureaucrats — the spoiled successors to founding genius Ray Kroc — insisted that they had all the answers. That the turnaround was in full view.
But this week sales and profits slumped again and worse yet, the new CEO insists that the company is seeing “early signs of momentum.”
Wall Street and Main Street are both seeing signs of something far more ominous and about as appetizing as a hockey puck Big Mac: Denial.
How can McD’s former branding chief turned head honcho see momentum in:
* US same store sales down 2 percent
*Net profits sagging 13 percent
Only if he means downward momentum. That the deterioration of the once venerable fast food king is accelerating.
It is this managerial myopia that is most troubling. We all know that much of what McDonald’s serves is fatty, dated, unhealthy, manufactured so-called food that is hardly going to increase anyone’s life expectancy. That’s a given from my perspective.
But that can change and though there are new menu items and other experiments underway to reverse the order of things, when management at any troubled business refuses to a) admit it has lost its way b)bring in fresh blood to rethink the model and c)execute like hell in a new direction, the prognosis for the future is hardly anything to celebrate.
While McD fiddles around the edges with modest changes in its 1950’s way of doing things, the 21st century rolls along, with healthy and edgy fast food competitors springing up on every corner, down the street from the tarnished arches.
The questions are two fold:
1. How long will consumers put up with McDonald’s tired fare and often sloppy stores?
2. When will the board and The Street demand a true fix from without, calling in a turnaround ace well before the company’s critical mass breaks down.
Complacency is a curse for any business. Denial is a deal killer.
Just this week, the most famous and wealthiest activist investor in history, Carl Icahn, turned his guns on Xerox. Many are asking, “What does Carl want? Why does a man with $35 billion continue in the hunt for wealth?”
As Carl’s biographer, one-time neighbor and tennis partner, the answers are pretty clear to me. Carl always wants the same thing: more! It’s not the money, per se, as much as it is taking it away from those who he perceives to be the enemy: members of the corporate establishment.
He once told me–in so many words–that ‘these people looked down on me when I was a poor nobody growing up in Far Rockaway, NY. Now I want to pour vinegar in their martinis and break their golf clubs.’
Does Icahn really care about Xerox, its balance sheet or its shareholders? Absolutely not. But he found a soft target and he will play the only game this virtual loner has played so effectively all of his adult life. And chances are Xerox will pay the price. And drink the vinegar.
Check out King Icahn: Biography of a Renegade Capitalist here: http://kingicahn.com/