Friday, September 09, 2005

What the global CEO thinks like


Conventional wisdom talks of economies of scale. But in today's world, perhaps we should be looking at economies of learning and knowledge, says Sir Martin Sorrell, founder of WPP, one of the world's largest advertising groups. He manages over 100 companies operating in 92 countries.

Here's what Sir Sorrell says about what the global CEO thinks like:

"As a global CEO, if your database is well linked, you can be really up to date before you meet others so at least you appear to know what is going on.

Lots of people say that I am too much of a micro manager. I regard that as a compliment, not an insult. There are people who pull away from details and become totally consumed with strategies and tactics but implementation suffers.

If you ask someone why he got fired, the reason is usually because of execution not because they did not have a vision. We tend to have a lot of initiatives going on. I tend to believe that it's better to have thirty initiatives a day so you can get ten done, rather than have three and get just one or two done.

Being prepared is important. There are no nice neat mathematical models. What works in one place will not work in another. There are no global approaches, no blacks and whites but shades of gray. There have to be compromises, with strategic advances and strategic retreats.

You have to have different models. It could be an alliance model with just 20% of the company. It's pretty important to have a vision and execute that vision. I should be determined. Persistence is very important and speed is also very important.

I used to say it's better to take a bad decision on Monday than a good decision on the following Friday and I still think that it is true. You have to give people an instantaneous response, that's why I'm accused of being a micro manager."

Read the entire article here.

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