Mark Hurd, H.P., and the Need for a Perfect Leader
I read Joe Nocera’s recent Talking Business column and the second to last paragraph jumped out at me. The article was about the real reason H.P.’s board ousted Mark Hurd. Nocera argues that Hurd might not have been the type of leader that H.P. needs long term. In that paragraph he quotes a former H.P. employee who makes the argument that what H.P. needs is a leader with Carly’s (former CEO Carly Fiorina) strategic sense, Mark’s operational skills, and Lew’s (former CEO Lewis Platt) emotional intelligence.
I’m sure you can guess that from Dialect’s perspective these are very different qualities. It would be a truly rare person who excelled in all of these areas. In fact, the three qualities described are three of the filters that we talk about in Uncommon Sense. Many of us grew up being told that we could accomplish anything we put our minds to. Yet, as we learn more from neuroscience how our brains work, it becomes clear that we can’t excel at everything. And I believe Nocera’s column articulates three very different strengths that require very different kinds of wiring. Of course, I’d love to hear examples of leaders who possess all three of the qualities Nocera outlines. Any takers?