Leadership

You Only Have Ninety Days To Make An Impression.

I have a question for you. You just started a new job. You have been through what passes for the company orientation. You are comfortably situated in your cubical, and you have all the office supplies you need. The folks from IT will be down later in the day to set you up on your company laptop, company mobile phone, and they will even allow you to mirror some of the company applications on your own personal devices should you decide.

You have meetings set for the next several days, to meet with your team leader, supervisor, and the group manager. To say you’re excited would be an understatement. This is a big step for you. In all reality, it is really your first “real” job. All those other jobs, tending bar, working at the local hardware store, along with those few jobs you had that were shall we say, a tad bit dubious, are nothing compared to this one. This to you is where you start to make some real money. This job is why you went to college; this is the beginning of you starting a career.

So I ask this question of you, how much time do you think you have to make an impression? After all, from the way the cute HR Rep talked it seems like this is a place you can have a great future. Plenty of opportunities all you have to do is apply yourself and life will be great. But, again, I ask, how long do you believe you have to demonstrate you are someone that the company should make a long-term investment in?

Allow me to say both questions are rhetorical. Let me provide the correct response. You have ninety days, nine zero. Another way of looking at it is, you have three months to adapt, adjust, conform, and impress. Not a lot of time you say. You’re correct. But, it’s not impossible. However, let me be clear, fail and the outcome can affect you in ways you would never image.

Let me introduce you to two concepts, R.I.C.O., and P.E.O. The first RICO stands for Regular Access, Immediate Feedback, Consistent Measurement, and, One to One Relationship. The second PEO stands for Personal Economic Opportunity. They are connected. How they are connected will be discussed in a series of posts.

Before I continue with an explanation of RICO & PEO, It is important you understand you are working on an unofficial/official time limitation. You have approximately ninety days in which you need to:

a)gain a basic understanding of the roles and responsibilities of your job,

b)become rudimentary familiar with the company’s organizational structure,

c)build basic relationships,

d)develop basics of a plan that allows you to demonstrate your value to the company on a level that you are noticed by those who can enhance your career.

Simply put, during your first ninety days, you to have developed a plan by which you can demonstrate you can turn the value you’ve consumed into valued created. That you are someone who is an asset and not a liability.

I know, seems like a lot, especially for someone who is new, but, if you have plans for advancement with any company you work for, then you need to stop behaving like a recent college graduate. You need to start thinking and behaving like a seasoned veteran of the interoffice game of politics.

As cliché as this sounds your chances of having a successful and profitable career depends on what you do during your first ninety days on the job. Over the next several weeks I will be sharing some thoughts and insights on how you can develop a plan that will allow you to become a corporate star during that ninety-day time frame. Watch this space.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2016


Are We Helping You Build A Successful Career? How Will You Answer?

The second question under consideration from our discussion on exit interviews is; Are we helping you build a successful career? The idea behind this question is to solicit how management can help you be a success during your tenure with them. Keep in mind, if you’re successful so is your manager and the company. Not to mention happy customers which lead to strong sales and great profits.

Take a moment and ask yourself this; why do you think your manager would ask you this question? Could it be, they see you as someone with high potential and want to know how they can help you succeed in the company? If that is the case, then don’t you think you owe it them and yourself to have the essence of a clear plan with goals, outcomes, and metrics? Don’t be caught flat-footed. Allow me to make a simple but effect suggestion.

Many have the belief that a successful career plan requires spending hours upon hours of planning every possible step. It is true planning is required. But not on the level, some believe. Let me suggest that you think and plan in ninety-day increments. Doing it in this manner allows you provide specific areas where you manager can assist you in your career development. It allows for measurable results along with the opportunity to make adjustments.

Good and talent people are hard to find and keeping them is important to the organization. So when you’re asked the question Are we helping you build a successful career, be ready with a response along with examples of where you could use their help. By having your ninety-day plan developed, you can provide specific areas where you can use their help. Not to mention, it opens the line of communication between you and your manager. To where she is really looking to help you, and not just asking a perfunctory question.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2016


The Exit Interview Questions You Should Ask Before People Leave.

A recent article in entitled “Making Exit Interviews Count” Harvard Business Review April 2016, caught my attention. It was discussing the importance of doing exit interviews. I realize that this particular topic may cause to say “Wilson what on earth are you talking about?” I don’t blame you, in fact if you found yourself saying,”strange topic to bring up since you haven’t written anything for three months.” Again I am forced to agree with up to a point. Let me explain.

First, I admit it has been three months maybe longer since my last post. For that, I once again apologize. At times, it is difficult coming up with topics that I feel are worth writing about. But, hey, as I have said before it’s my Blog so I can write about whatever I desire. With that in mind, I’ve decided to cover a number of issues that I believe relate to issues around management, diversity, team building, accountability, trust, communications, along with developing a strategy to be a star in your organization.

Second, which brings me to the topic of Exit Interviews. Well, this is one of those topics I’ve chosen to cover briefly for no other reason than this is my blog. Look, if you really want to know about Exit Interviews grab a copy of the April 2016 issue of Harvard Business Review and read the entire article. But, there is a simple concept that I wish to borrow from the article. It has to do with these three questions by the article writers that I think should be asked prior to an Exit Interview. In fact, I believe a good manager should be asking these of his employees on a regular basis they are:

  1. Are we helping you be effective in your current job?
  2. Are we helping you build a successful career?
  3. Are we helping you have a fulfilling life?

Three excellent questions that you as a manager you should be asking your employees constantly. Why? Well, take a moment and think about it and I will discuss it in our next post.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2016


The Elephants Dance at EMC and Dell

Well, the elephants are dancing once again this time it is at EMC and Dell. The most recent announcement is that Dell will by EMC. So for the folks at both companies the days of fretful anticipation will start as to when the inevitable layoffs will start arriving.

In the meantime those in power will be working out their packages that will make them millionaires and leave them in good standing as potential venture capitalists for those looking for startup money or starting their own venture. But for the majority (my guess mostly EMC people) what this latest corporate demolition means is many people will be wondering and worrying what their future will become. For some, retirement might be their best option. For others it will be a series of job searches. Hoping they can land a job before their expiration date of nine months of unemployment renders them to the untouchable pile. It seems that if someone regardless of their skills not hired in that period, now deemed undesirable by HR.

So that flurry of activity happening in both companies is not employees paying attention to the work at hand, it is those who know they have skills desired elsewhere, are feverishly sprucing up the resume and making the network calls they know will be helpful in their new employment search. What is funny, this is exactly what some of the elephants want to happen. It lessens the blow of selecting people to fire, I mean downsize.

As I’ve often written when the Elephants in the corporate office start dancing things break. It’s just too bad it’s the good hard working individuals. Who labored under the legend that companies really care about their most valuable asset, their employees. When in reality it is how golden is their parachute.


Market Basket – One for the Books For Sure!

How many of would risk your job for the CEO of your company? Would you join a picket line for six weeks with no pay demanding the reinstatement of the CEO of your company? Let’s say you’re a long-term customer of the company would you support the employees in their protest? What would be your motivation to support the employees of this company if you can find what you need elsewhere?

Under normal circumstances most employees and customers pay little attention to the firing of a company CEO. From an employee standpoint many see it as part of their company’s business cycle, CEO’s come and go so to speak. Customers have a similar view, unless they have stock in the company then they wonder how it will affect the stock price with the firing of the CEO. Neither will worry about the CEO welfare as they both believe he’ll be fine financially. So the concept of both employee and customer joining forces and protesting the firing of a CEO by walking off the job and boycotting, well, it’s unheard of until now. Enter Arthur T. Demoulas recently fired by his board of directors, and now six weeks later, the reinstated CEO and now majority owner of Market Basket. A position he regained with the help of both loyal employees and customers. A level of loyalty and support CEO’s can only dream about that is if the do dream.

Adam Vaccaro of the Boston.com provides a good account of what took place. However, that’s not the focus of this post. My focus is on the embodiment of what we consultants often talk about when it comes to leadership and customer loyalty. Let’s start with discussing Artie T (as he’s called by his loyal employees) leadership style.

Leadership:

Warren Bennis said “managers do things right leaders do the right thing.” Artie T realized the right thing to do was take care of his people and everything else would follow. He did this by developing a culture that allowed employees to be successful and rewarded them accordingly. He understood that profit came not because of him, but from the hard work of his employees. As the company and profits grew he paid well and provided good benefits. He followed threw on items he said he would. He established a foundation of trust among the employees. It resulted in employees truly believing they “were the most valuable asset” something often said by management but not necessarily believed by those who say it and those who hear it.

At Market Basket both the employees and the customers are important. In an interview Artie T told the reporter that they were in the people business first and the food business second. Now that’s someone who has his eye on what is important.

If your employees feel they are just the proverbial cog in the wheel, it will reflect on how they interact with your customers. Think Comcast and the now famous viral recording of a customer trying to disconnect his service.

Focus and Employee Development Leads to Customer Loyalty :

Ralph C. Stayer CEO of Johnsonville foods in his book Flight of the Buffalo, asked this question, “is every person in your company focused on delivering great performance for his/her customers? Focused and motivated employees will delight their customers. For six weeks Market Basket customers boycotted the stores in their areas. They refuse to shop at their favorite store until the reinstatement of Artie T as CEO. That’s customer loyalty.

It came about because he made sure his employees were focused on delighting their customers. He did this by asking this question, “is the person becoming more capable?” meaning is the employee receiving the training and development they that will allow them to grow? Having a promote from within philosophy with emphasis on continuous learning doesn’t hurt either.

All this leads to retention of top talent, a loyal customer base.Things he clearly understood, and so did his employees and Market Basket customers. That’s why both employees and customers took the action they did and it paid off.

We appreciate being treated respectfully when we’re about to spend our hard earn money. As customers we have numerous choices and we won’t patronize businesses who don’t understand this. The employees of Market Basket understood this, that’s why they greet every customer in a sincere and friendly way. As a friend told me shopping at a Market Basket reminded him of the local neighborhood grocery store before they all became chains. He also said he noticed it was like a local meeting place when people and employees engaged in friendly conversation because they knew each other.

So when the employees went out on strike to get their leader back so did their customers. Which is something unheard of and will make for some very interesting business case studies. Yes this clearly one for the business books.

 


A Sign of The Times

I’m at Panera’s attempting to write the first chapter of my book, when I take a break and look up and see seated at a table a family signing. Normally, I wouldn’t give this a second thought but for some strange reason I’m fascinated at what is taking place a few feet away from me. Here is a family carrying on an animated conversation that only they can understand by using their hands to communicate with each other and not uttering a sound. I’m old enough to remember the time when we used a different term for individuals who couldn’t speak which I won’t repeat here.

You might ask, Tim why is this important. I don’t know if it’s important, but, for me it causes me to wonder why so many people are insistent on making English the official language of the United States. For that matter, why, there was such an outcry about the first Cheerios commercial that featured an interracial couple, or the recent Coke™ commercial that had different groups of people signing America The Beautiful in their native tongue. Then there is what Ted Nugent calling the President, a “subhuman mongrel.” I can only image what he would call the family I’m watching.

As a society we have many problems, and we have major tendency to get upset when people don’t agree with us. But recently I’ve witnessed a major uptick in the vitriol and quickness to become offended and the slightest perceived provocation. It’s as if people are like coiled rattlesnake ready to strike at anyone who stumbles across their path.

This unbridled rush to prove oneself right and denounce anyone who disagrees with them causes them to resort to vicious name calling and accusation. No longer are people willing to reasonable discuss and debate. It’s either you agree with me or you’re against me. I ask, when did this happen?

But let me circle back to the rhetorical question raised earlier, why is this important? As an expert in leadership and innovation this is a challenge that leaders and managers have to deal with in the workplace. People bring their feelings and beliefs with them when they show up for work. Despite the old adage of leave personal problems at home when at work, the reality is that just doesn’t happen.

For managers and leaders, they face a constant challenge of dealing with the entire gamut of human emotions. With the demands to perform at breakneck speeds, its little wonder people become argumentative and intolerant of differences. But, that doesn’t mitigate the requirement to embrace the diversity that people bring to workplace. If anything by truly embracing the differences people bring to our lives we will be better for it as it open us up to seeing the expansiveness that differences offers us. The manager who can truly utilize all the assets they have is a manager who will be the most productive.

The family I was observing has left and I can only say that I feel a bit richer for having the opportunity to witness their conversation. It’s provided with a memory that I can call up reference regularly when talking about the need to value and embrace diversity.

The challenge to you, is, can you bring forth such a memory? I hope you can.

© Timothy A. Wilson All Rights Reserved



The Elephant Dance Is In Full Swing At Microsoft

A past conversation with a friend on the announcement Steve Ballmer CEO of Microsoft would be stepping down next year caused us to wonder if there was some other underlying reason as he just announced a major restructuring of the company. We both speculated a bit, but, I must admit, for me I wasn’t familiar with the reorganization announcement.

Since I wasn’t familiar with the changes Ballmer was making, I asked my friend his opinion on them and he said it’s a mess. I let it go and we went on to another topic. But, my curiosity had been sufficient stimulated so I decided to do some research to fill in my knowledge gap around the announced Microsoft reorganization. After reading several articles, I shook my head, and said good luck. Here’s why.

Organizational Entrenchment:

This change was long overdue according to a number of sources. In fact, many have referred to as the Apple way of being organized around software, hardware and services. While this is working for Apple, the unasked and unanswered questions are will it work at Microsoft? Breaking down silos isn’t as easy as you may think, and according to those who seem to know there are a lot of silos inside of Microsoft.

People have vested interests in the current way things are working and will not willingly go along with the new announced structure. Expect some protracted infighting before people come around to accepting the newly defined structure. This will take time and will have a cost not just in money, but drops in customer service, and the lost of some customers.

Cultural Entrenchment:

This is the first cousin to organizational entrenchment. People have a vested interest in keeping things they way they are. They’ve figured out how to navigate the internal bureaucratic maze that develops in organizations the size of Microsoft. Internally they’ve figured out how to get things done not to mention who the real power players are inside the organization. According to one account I read as crazy as Microsoft’s internal structure is, it apparently has internal support among employees and don’t want to see it change. The reason, they know how work it to their advantage. So with this newly announced change, they have concerns about how this will upset their personal apple cart.

Talent Loss:

Ballmer has stated there will be no layoffs. That’s questionable. With this type of change, something will have to give from an employee standpoint. What Ballmer has set in motion will reverberate throughout the organization with not everyone being happy and will result in an exodus of talent. How large the exodus will be is speculative at this point, but with any organizational change of this type, there are always winners and losers.

Apparently, the market was more responsive to the announcement of Steve Ballmer retirement than his organizational change. Microsoft watchers are in two camps, those who feel it was overdue others who believe it will just lead to mass confusion and make a mess of everything. It’s like the end of the parade at Disneyworld when the elephants come marching down Main Street, followed by the crew that have to clean up the mess the elephants make.

Whoever, gets to be the new CEO at the end of Ballmer’s term I hope he has a big brush and plenty of water.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2013. All Rights Reserved


Managing Gen-Y Oh My!

Is the technical advantage that millennials have starting to dissipate? You know, their skills with technology which are supposed to give them an advantage over their Gen-x and boomers colleagues in the workplace.

Read any of the myriads of books and articles about millennials to a fault these authors touted their skill and expertise with technology as their advantage to those who weren’t as proficient with the mastery of world of technology. But, a funny thing happened on the way to their predicted rise to the top, the recession.

The “great recession of 2008” threw a monkey-wrench in their plans to transform the workplace. If anything, the recession has forced many millennials to improvise and adapt and take on characteristics of both the boomers and Gen-Xers they are looking to replace.

The Recession Forced Boomers To Adapt! Faced with major losses in their retirement funds, Boomers, did the only thing they could, they used their political skills and organizational savvy to stay in their jobs. Long ago, they figured out how to create the persona of a valued employee as such it allows them to exercise certain skills that millennials have yet to acquire. In certain instances, a boomer’s seniority allows them to “bump” a person out of their current position. In other situations, they call in “favors” they’ve accumulated over time. In other words, they’re not going without first exhausting everything in their bag of tricks, a bag I might add that many millennials have yet to develop.

Technology Isn’t the Boggy-Man! There is a lot of hype around millennials ability to use technology because they grew up with it all around them. Granted they may and are good at using it in ways that are impressive and astounding. But, let’s not forget who invented much of the technology that is being used today. Not all Boomers are afraid of using technology. Maybe they’re not as fast at texting as their younger counterparts, but they text fast enough to be effective at work, and that’s what counts.

Formidable Competition in the Marketplace! Ok right now it’s tough for everyone who’s job hunting. When speaking to college students who are about to enter the job market I ask them a simple question, “Who do you see as your competition?” Invariably they respond back by saying their graduating class. They forget about the class the year before them, not to mention all the people – which includes – boomers who have the experience that companies are seeking. Most hiring managers will error on the side of proven experience over untested potential. There are companies who will take a risk on newly minted undergraduate or graduate students with the idea of molding them to their way of doing business. But, they would be hard pressed to pass up a more qualified candidate who has already proven they’re responsible and dependable, along with demonstrating they understand how to operate effectively in the work environment.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no ill feelings toward the millennial generation, as they do represent the group of individuals that will ultimately occupy many of the positions that will be vacated by their predecessors. They bring with them a level of inspiration and belief that they can make a difference and they have the tools ability to affect change. Unfortunately, they were gob smacked by the recession. Which has put a serious crimp in they’re upending the work environment as predicted by all those who wrote about the change that would come about from this group.

Millennials do come with a set of desirable skills which can have an impact, but, it doesn’t necessarily translate into any significant change that companies haven’t managed when other generations entered the workforce.

Perhaps the key to dealing with all the hype around the how the millennials will bring about change is to understand as skillful as they may be, they still have to adapt to their work environment. For them to do this successfully, you as a manager, will have to make some adjustments in how you manage, coach and guide those under your tutelage. As a manager it’s you responsibility to find a way to effectively utilize all the assets under your control. By assisting them through a process of guided discovery, they will adapt and use their talents productively just as those who came before them have. Also, they will realize why it’s called work and not play as they will be glad they have a job.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2013. All Rights Reserved


CEOs Lousy At Managing People, Really?

“A New study shows the CEOs are doing a lousy job when it comes to people management.” This was the opening sentence in a recent Forbes article entitled, “CEOs Are Terrible at Management.” How is this possible with mountains of information that stresses the importance of customer service, servant leadership, and promoting employee engagement as the keys to having a successful company?

It emanates from an old adage, “what gets measured gets managed.” As this report points out that, the CEOs directors place little import on what they consider non-financial metrics. According to the study conducted by The Miles Group, these areas “are less than 5%” of a CEO evaluation done by board directors. So, its simple, if directors don’t see it as a metric worth measuring, then why should the CEO? After all, if it only counts as 5% of their evaluation, and the directors are placing more emphasis on how well their CEOs do in the areas of all things financial shouldn’t they focus on what is going to give them the best possible evaluation by their directors? Too many CEOs would agree that their focus should be on what the directors deem important. But they would be wrong and here our three reasons why.

1. Most directors don’t know how to evaluate a CEO until the CEO tells them on what they should be evaluated.

  •  Most directors really have no clue on how to evaluate their CEO. They focus on the area that is important to them, the financials. After all, it’s easy. The stock price is either up or down if it’s down, push on the CEO to get the price back up, if it’s rising, push them harder to get it even higher. So the CEO needs to point out to them there is more to the job than just keeping the stock price high. CEOs care about their legacy and want to be known for much more. They understand that focus on having a stable stock price is a key component of their job, but, it’s just one of many.

2. Most CEOs don’t have and honest discussion with their directors about the evaluation process.

  • It’s simple, CEOs are people too, and they don’t necessarily desire to talk about areas they need to work on, so they’re not honest with their directors when it comes to discussing what and how they should be measured. So both take the default setting of financial results. An open and honest discussion would be inclusive around and including how the CEO can improve in areas not directly related to financial management. Seeking assistance from the board on developing a talent management program, how to better handle conflict, or dealing with nagging customer satisfaction problems lends itself to a more balance approach to the evaluation discussion. It also, opens the lines of communication between the directors and helps them provide better guidance and direction to the CEO.

3. Both CEOs and Directors suck at the evaluation process.

  • According to The Miles Group study, there is a failure of some directors to evaluate their CEOs and there are those CEOs who don’t believe the evaluation process is a meaningful exercise at all. In other words, both the directors and CEOs suck at the evaluation process. Since they both suck at it they do the wink and nod at evaluation time. If the numbers are good here’s you envelope with your new compensation package, see you on the golf course this afternoon.  If the numbers are bad, get them up and here’s your envelope with your new compensation package, see you in Bermuda in two weeks.  Both the directors and CEO can benefit from the example of Stephen P. Kaufman former CEO of Arrow Electronics when he was surprised at how his evaluation was handled by the chair of compensation. 

While The Miles Group report points out that CEOs are lousy at managing, it doesn’t have to be that way. When the Stephen P. Kaufman CEO of Arrow Electronics received his 10 minute evaluation with the chair of the compensation committee he changed the process. That quick pop in meeting caused him to realize that if he was making his management team provide input from multiple sources, he should also be held to a similar standard by his directors. He instituted a process by which his board to improve how he would be evaluated. Through it, he learned about leadership and benefited greatly from the process. Mr. Kaufman would be part of the 12% of CEOs in The Miles Group study that felt they were rated too high or too low. (See October 2008 issue HBR Evaluating the CEO)

As the Forbes article stated CEOs might be lousy at managing, their directors are bad at the most important aspect of their job, which is giving their CEO real feedback during their evaluation process. Yes financial metrics are important, but so are, leadership, strategy, people management, and relationships with external constituencies. These combined with operational metrics (which finance is but one of several) are what Mr. Kaufman had his board evaluate him on and it resulted in a much better evaluation discussion that allowed him to get a better insight to areas he need to improve, which in turn allowed him to be a successful CEO for 14 years at Arrow Electronics.

Board of directors have a responsibility to ensure that the CEO performing at a level that will benefits the company throughly, and that means evaluating them not just on the financials, but, as pointed out, leadership, strategy, people management and development, and customer and community service. Both the CEO and board need to be engaged, Mr. Kaufman has provided them a template, perhaps they should follow it.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2013. All Rights Reserved


Hey Ron, You’re Not At Apple Anymore.

For many the departure of Ron Johnson former CEO of JC Penney’s has gone unnoticed. But, not in my household, not because we’re a frequent shopper at Penney’s it’s because my wife works there part time and was (as colleagues of hers) the recipient of the numerous changes Johnson put in place. During his tenure, I heard about the constant confusion brought on by his incessant ready aim fire change process.

Normally, I would listen (as a well-trained husband is supposed to do) to her concerns, (I told you I was well train, it’s always concerns not complaints) and just move on about my activities. But, his name rang a bell and then I realized this was the same Ron Johnson from Apple. I had recently finished Walter Isaacson’s book, Steve Jobs. The changes she was voicing her concerns about were similar to what Isaacson wrote about in chapter 29, especially when he described the customer experience.

Johnson tried to turn Penney’s into Apple. He thought the Apple store success would easily translated into the world of discount apparel and home good products. Common sense and his pre Apple experience should had sent his Spider senses tingling, but, he was still under the influence of the “reality distortion field” prominent in the Apple Culture. It was Jobs way of getting people to believe they could get things done in extremely short timeframes.

Think of it as Scotty the engineer, telling Captain Kirk it would take fours to fix the warp engine and Kirk giving him two, and Scotty would complete the task with only minutes to spare. Johnson was making Jobs like demands for changes and imposing short timeframes expecting that people would rise to the challenge. Unfortunately, he miscalculated on several levels.

His first and perhaps the most damaging, he failed to know his customer base. He was trying to convince Penney’s customers they didn’t know what they wanted until he showed them. He conflated Penney customers with Apple customers. The only thing they have in common is the word customer. People, who purchase Apple products, are cult like in their obsession. They go to an Apple store to purchase an Apple product, the only thing that an Apple store sells.

His second miscalculation was he didn’t learn from his Apple experience. Based on what Isaacson wrote, Jobs created a prototype store to test ideas, and when he brought Johnson on board, he spent many hours discussing ideas and made changes, to Johnson, surprised on recommendations he had made to Jobs. It was reported that when asked if he was going to test his change on the coupons, he replied, “no of course not.” He didn’t listen to his management team. He thought Jobs didn’t listen, and just ploughed ahead, but Jobs just pretended he didn’t. When one of him managers came up with a good idea he would use it.

His third miscalculation he allowed his most recent success (Apple Stores) overshadow his collective experience in the retail field. Another way of saying this is he believed his own press. Much was made of JC Penney’s management getting him from Apple. They saw him as their savior, and fully believed he would turn the company around and guide them to greater profitability. Sadly, so did Johnson. His rapid rise in the retail industry and his successes at Target and Apple no doubt were contributors to his demise.

Trying to make JC Penney’s as successful as the Apple stores was the goal. They hired the right individual who played a major part in the success of the Apple stores. It could have been successful if Johnson had a malleable Apple like board and Apple like customers.

Which he didn’t and which ultimately lead to his short tenure.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2013. All Rights Reserved


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