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the Business Of Business Is People And Other Leadership Lessons From Southwest Airliness Herb Kelleher

Bryan Schneider joined professional services firm Manatt as a partner in its consumer financial services practice. He joins from the CFPB, where he led the Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending division. He has also held leadership positions at one of the largest health care and pharmacy providers in the U.S. Through Manatt’s legal and consulting capabilities, Bryan will draw on his regulatory roots to guide clients through consumer financial services regulatory and enforcement matters. Gilbane, a top Chicago builder, announces Michelle McClendon as operational leader for K-12 education and public sector markets.

Alas, it’s still the case that those kinds of close relationships remain the exception rather than the rule. Let’s face it, even IT executives and the engineers or analysts who report to them sometimes seem to be speaking different languages. Interpersonal relationships are as important as ever in today’s business world, but it can be difficult to balance strong leadership and likeability.

Satya Nadella is an Indian-American business executive, currently serving as the chief executive officer of Microsoft. Since he became CEO, the company has seen a 27% annual growth rate. Born in India to a Telugu-speaking family, Nadella serves as an inspiration to millions of Indians who nurse ‘The American Dream’. With this definition, entrepreneurship is viewed as change, generally entailing risk beyond what is normally encountered in starting a business, which may include other values than simply economic ones. Since a “businessman” can mean anyone in industry or commerce, businesspeople have existed as long as industry and commerce have existed. “Commerce” can simply mean “trade”, and trade has existed through all of recorded history.

At the level of the overall business, the new metric reveals a problem that conventional financial measures have obscured. While IT Services’ capital productivity is satisfactory, its employee productivity is low. The return exceeds employee costs by only 3%, compared with an average of 12% achieved by rivals (whose businesses are analyzed using the same people-oriented metrics). Furthermore, competitors are paying their employees nearly 15% more than IT Services is, in the form of higher benefits and performance-related compensation. In fact, if pay were adjusted to match competitors’, IT Services’ slim margins would be wiped out. The ideal measures will highlight the major drivers of business results, alert you to emerging problems, and provide some hints about their causes.

Not all people employed by a business are IT people but all IT people are business people. For example, maybe your CEO just read an article about being in the cloud…and someone at Gartner says your company should be in the cloud…and now you’re getting questioned about why you haven’t gotten the business in the cloud yet! Or maybe you haven’t moved in the cloud direction yet but for good reason – perhaps you lack the resources you need to assure security and seamless integration with onsite resources. You’d think that after all these years of technology being a driving force behind business growth, there’d be similarly strong communication links between IT and business leaders.

People that are coming together for a common purpose to achieve a goal. Harari concludes, ‘Any large scale co-operation is rooted in common myths that exist only in people’s collective imagination’. Veteran Fortune 500 leader, James Autrey agrees, “There is no business, there are only people. Business exists only among people and for people.” And that applies to all businesses.

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