What I learn from Louis Gerstner

Louis Gerstner was a legendary CEO who saved IBM more than 20 years ago. He wrote a book called “Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?” I love this book and have read it multiple times now. What do I learn from Louis’s book?

Louis had many interesting and useful management principles that I think would never been obsolete. The ones that I like the most are:

  1. I manage by principle, not procedure.
  2. The marketplace dictates everything we should do.
  3. I look for people who work to solve problems and help colleagues. (Love this) I sack politicians.
  4. I am heavily involved in strategy; the rest is yours to implement.
  5. (Also love this) Move fast. If we make mistakes, let them be because we are too fast, rather than too slow.
  6. Hierarchy means little to me. Let put together in meetings the people who can help solve a problem, regardless of position.

When I struggle at work, I always go back to his book. He is like my mentor.


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