Lessons and tips from game-changing CEOs

As seen on Investors.com:

Transformative CEOs Provide A Blueprint To Follow


Just like top runners, great CEOs lap average performers. Jeffrey Fox, who co-wrote “The Transformative CEO” with Robert Reiss, points to Peter Cuneo, who took over Marvel Entertainment in 1999, led its stock on a rocket run and guided the firm toward its $4 billion pickup by Walt Disney (DIS) in 2009.

Lessons and tips from game-changing CEOs:

 Be fast and accurate. When Rick Goings took over as Tupperware Brands (TUP) president in 1992, he found a company hemorrhaging cash. He asked for a quick analysis so he could stop the bleeding.

“The whole of what we try to indoctrinate in our culture, from the Marine Corps, is the 70% solution,” Goings told IBD. “Once you have about 70% of the information, trust your instincts. Your instincts are based on your experience.”

Goings took over as Tupperware’s CEO in 1997 and still emphasizes that need for speed, with signs at Orlando, Fla., headquarters that say “Fast and Right.”

The plastic-container firm has responded with double-digit profit growth in 10 of the past 13 quarters.

 Acquire talent. Goings avoids following companies that swerve from what’s most important. “Too much focus has been on strategy, on techniques, financing, etc. It has not been on how to create people,” he said. “All a company is is a collection of people. Recruit the best ones, empower them, develop them, and that’s where you’ll get results in a company.”

 Go at it. Goings zeros in on right now. “Time is a scarce resource,” he said. “Identify and do the things that matter most, and let the other things go.”

 Be true. To Tupperware’s 2.7 million independent direct sellers, “we emphasize and teach authenticity,” Goings said, adding that authentic people have the trust to inspire sales teams and build retention.

 Innovate. It’s a crucial trait for transformative CEOs. One, says Fox, is Dan Amos, CEO of Aflac (AFL), who made the call that put his company on the national map: using the quirky duck in its TV ads. The campaign resulted in Aflac’s brand awareness rising from 11% to 93%.

 Make difficult calls. Leadership for transformative CEOs is not a popularity contest, Fox said: “Turning around a dysfunctional culture, rescuing a dying company, is not for the needy personality. Tough decisions will never be wildly popular.”

 Create a top culture. “The transformative CEO is obsessed with maintaining and protecting a winning one,” said Fox. “They hire to their culture and get rid of even superstars if they are malignant to it.”