Article

Zeitgeist Leadership

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Harvard business review (Impact Factor: 1.27). 11/2005; 83(10):45-60, 156.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Companies and leaders don't succeed or fail in a vacuum. When it comes to longterm success, the ability to understand and adapt to changing business conditions is at least as important as any particular personality trait or competency. A clear picture of how powerful the zeitgeist can be emerges from the authors' comprehensive study of the way the business landscape in the United States evolved, decade by decade, throughout the twentieth century. Six contextual factors in particular, they found, most affected the prospects for business: the level of government intervention in business, global events, demographics, shifts in social mores, developments in technology, and the strength or weakness of the labor movement. A lack of contextual sensitivity can trip up even the most brilliant executive. No less a luminary than Alfred P. Sloan was relieved of GM's day-to-day management in the 1930s because he was unwilling to meet with the new UAW. Conversely, an understanding of the zeitgeist can play a crucial but unheralded role in business performance. Jack Welch is widely credited with GE's remarkable success during the 1980s and 1990s, for example, but far less attention has been paid to his predecessor, the statesmanlike and prudent Reginald Jones, who sustained strong revenue and profit growth during the heavily regulated stagflation of the 1970s. To better understand this connection between business performance and context, the authors studied 1,000 great U.S. business leaders of the twentieth century and identified three distinct archetypes: Entrepreneurs, often ahead of their time, overcame dire challenges to build something new. Managers excelled at reading and exploiting the existing zeitgeist to grow their businesses. Leaders defied context to identify latent potential in businesses others considered mature, stagnant, or in decline. In every decade, all three archetypes were vital. It is the ongoing regeneration of this pattern in the business life cycle that ultimately sustains development and progress.

Full-text preview

Available from: uwf.edu

  • No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · MedGenMed: Medscape general medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Management skills are necessary to successfully lead a surgical department in future. This article focuses on practical aspects of surgical management, leadership and training. It demonstrates how the implementation of business management concepts changes workflow management and surgical training. A systematic Medline search was performed and business management publications were analysed. Neither management nor leadership skills are inborn but acquired. Management is about planning, controlling and putting appropriate structures in place. Leadership is anticipating and coping with change and people, and adopting a visionary stance. More change requires more leadership. Changes in surgery occur with unprecedented speed because of a growing demand for surgical procedures with limited financial resources. Modern leadership and management theories have to be tailored to surgery. It is clear that not all of them are applicable but some of them are essential for surgeons. In business management, common traits of successful leaders include team orientation and communication skills. As the most important character, however, appears to be the emotional intelligence. Novel training concepts for surgeons include on-the-job training and introduction of improved workflow management systems, e.g. the central case management. The need for surgeons with advanced skills in business, finance and organisational management is evident and will require systematic and tailored training.
    No preview · Article · May 2006 · Langenbeck s Archives of Surgery
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the article we discuss the convergence of cultures in the period of transition from socialism to capitalism in the case of three post-socialist countries: Slovenia, Serbia and Russia. The research is focused on studying of the on-going convergence of values between different nations and different generations as it may be observed in the business environment. This research is based on the Trompenaars model, who has made an extensive study of national and organizational dimensions of culture of managers. Our findings show that there are significant differences between the values of senior and younger managers. National differences are more accentuated among older managers than younger. The values of younger generations of managers are more similar. There are many reasons for the convergence of cultures among young generation, our research shows that one of the key reasons lies in education
    No preview · Article · Jun 2006
Show more