New Drucker Book References AchieveMax® Article

When it comes to Peter F. Drucker, people fall into one of two categories.

  1. They have no idea who he is and have probably never heard of him at all, OR
  2. they’re well aware of his many accomplishments, his major impact on the business community and are more than familiar with the majority of his 39 best-selling books.

Many books have also been written about Peter Drucker. One of the most recent is titled A Class with Drucker: The Lost Lessons of the World’s Greatest Management Teacher. Author William A. Cohen is a graduate of Drucker’s executive Ph.D. program in management at Claremont Graduate University. In the bibliography of this book, Cohen references an article we wrote for our AchieveMax® newsletter on the subject of MBWA (Management By Wandering Around).  If you’d like to review that article you can do so at ”Does MBWA (Management By Wandering Around) Still Work?” We’re certainly honored to be mentioned in a book associated with the man known as “The Father of Modern Management.”

For those of you who may not be familiar with Peter F. Drucker, let’s take a closer look.

  • Peter Ferdinand Drucker was a writer, management consultant, and self-described “social ecologist.”
  • He was arguably one of the most influential management theorists in the world.
  • Drucker’s 39 books have been translated into more than 30 languages.
  • He made eight series of educational films on management topics.
  • He also penned a regular column in The Wall Street Journal for 20 years and contributed frequently to the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Economist.
  • He also explored how humans are organized across all sectors of society—in business, government and the nonprofit world.
  • His writings have predicted many of the major developments of the late 20th century, including privatization and decentralization; the rise of Japan to economic world power; the decisive importance of marketing; and the emergence of the information society with its necessity of lifelong learning.
  • In 1959, Drucker coined the term “knowledge worker” and later in his life considered knowledge work productivity to be the next frontier of management.
  • During his long consulting career, Drucker worked with many major corporations, including General Electric, Coca-Cola, Citicorp, IBM, and Intel.
  • He also consulted with notable business leaders such as GE’s Jack Welch; Procter & Gamble’s A.G. Lafley; Intel’s Andy Grove, Edward Jones’ John Bachmann; Shoichiro Toyoda, the honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corp.; and Masatoshi Ito, the honorary chairman of the Ito-Yokado Group, the second largest retailing organization in the world.
  • Drucker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President George W. Bush on July 9, 2002. He also received honors from the governments of Japan and Austria.
  • He continued to act as a consultant to businesses and non-profit organizations well into his nineties. Drucker died November 11, 2005, in Claremont, California, of natural causes at 95.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders – Earl Nightingale

Earl Nightingale may have done more to influence and inspire more of the nation’s leaders than anyone else could ever hope to do. He was an American motivational speaker who is known as the Dean of Personal Development and as one of the greatest thinkers and inspirational men of time.

Although he died 20 years ago, he continues to inspire people worldwide with his timeless wisdom and unusual ability to communicate and captivate audiences of all ages.

Earl Nightingale was on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. After the war Nightingale began work in the radio industry, which eventually led to work as a motivational speaker. In 1956 he produced a spoken-word record, The Strangest Secret, which sold over a million copies, making it the first spoken-word recording to achieve Gold Record status.

The combination of his extraordinarily distinctive voice and his powerful life-changing story continues to inspire listeners everywhere. About this time, Earl met a successful businessman by the name of Lloyd Conant, and together they began an “electronic publishing” company which eventually grew to become a multimillion dollar giant in the self-improvement field. They also developed a syndicated, 5-minute daily radio program, Our Changing World, which became the longest-running, most widely syndicated show in radio.

The following link will take you to a Google site where you can experience this mesmerizing voice and inspiring message. The video is more like a still photograph, but you’ll certainly appreciate the voice and message. It takes 31 minutes and 35 seconds to hear the entire piece, but you can at least sample this rare classic to understand its long-lasting attraction.

It appears that Earl was destined for greatness at a very early age. His childhood challenges led him to adult greatness, enlightenment, and success. As a Depression-era child, Earl Nightingale was hungry for knowledge. From the time he was a young boy, he would frequent the Long Beach Public Library in California, searching for the answer to the question, “How can a person, starting from scratch, who has no particular advantage in the world, reach the goals that he feels are important to him, and by so doing, make a major contribution to others?” His desire to find an answer, coupled with his natural curiosity about the world and its workings spurred him to become one of the world’s foremost experts on success and what makes people successful.

After the war, Earl went to work for KTAR in Phoenix. Radio was in its “hay day,” and with Earl’s talent, it wasn’t long before he moved to where the heart of the action was—Chicago, Illinois. Offered jobs at both NBC and CBS, he went to work for CBS, where he quickly became a legendary icon to kids across the nation, as the voice of radio hero, Sky King. When he wasn’t flying through the sky in his airplane, The Songbird, or riding off on his horse to round up the bad guys, Earl was busy writing and broadcasting his daily radio, and later, television show, from the broadcast stations in the Windy City.

Later, expanding his horizon, Earl bought a small Franklin Life Insurance agency, where each Saturday morning, he would give little pep talks to the salesmen, hoping to inspire and motivate them to be the best salesmen they could be.

One day, Earl told his office manager that he planned to take a fishing vacation and would be away for a few weeks. Because the salesmen relied so heavily on their weekly pep talks from Earl, the manager expressed concern that sales would drop during Earl’s absence. Earl came up with the idea to record something that could be played while he was gone.

Earl thought about what he might write, and turned the question over and over again in his mind. Then, one night, a short time later, he woke up and knew exactly what he wanted to say. He got up, went to his typewriter and wrote a short message. The next morning, he recorded the message and pressed it on a record. The message contained the most valuable information Earl had ever learned—a conclusion of truth that he had searched for and found in every book he’d ever read since he was a child of nine. Of course, he hadn’t recognized this … truth, during those long years of self-education, because he had been looking for something else—the answer to the question he had asked his mother when he was little, why they were so poor, and what made people turn out the way they do.

His enlightenment had come when he was 29, while working at CBS. He happened to be reading, Think and Grow Rich, when he read the words, “we become what we think about.” Suddenly, like a bolt out of the blue, he realized that he had been reading the same truth over and over again, from the New Testament, in the sayings of Buddha, in the writings of Lao Tse, to the works of Emerson. “We become what we think about.” “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”

The Strangest SecretSo, it was from this enlightenment that Earl wrote his classic, The Strangest Secret. He said he called it that, because of the irony of it all—that this truth of why we become, whatever it is we become, is no “secret” at all, and therefore, it’s “strange” that we don’t all know about it!

Earl gave the recording to his manager and left on his fishing trip. When he returned, he was amazed at the reaction to the message. Everyone who had heard the record, wanted one for themselves. Earl pressed more records for the salesmen. The salesmen played it, not only for themselves, but for their families and friends, and when the others heard it, they wanted one too.

The Strangest Secret went on to receive a Gold Record—the only recording of its kind to ever go Gold.

Meanwhile, Earl Nightingale’s success as a radio and later television personality continued to grow, as did the demand for him as a speaker. Earl’s radio program, Our Changing World, became the most highly syndicated radio program ever, and was heard across the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, the Bahamas, 23 countries overseas, as well as the Armed Forces Network.

In 1985, Earl was inducted into The Association of National Broadcasters, Radio Hall of Fame.

During his lifetime, Earl Nightingale wrote and recorded over 7,000 radio programs, 250 audio programs as well as television programs and videos.

In the mid-eighties, Earl wrote his first book, Earl Nightingale’s Greatest Discovery for which he received the Napoleon Hill Gold Medal for Literary Excellency.

Today, Earl Nightingale is remembered as the greatest philosopher of his time, and his best-selling programs and books continue to sell daily, and inspire new generations around the world, to reach their highest potential.

Here are some examples of Earl’s wisdom that will live on for decades to come:

  • The mind moves in the direction of our currently dominant thoughts.
  • We become what we think about.
  • We tend to live up to our expectations.
  • The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job Security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career.
  • Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.
  • You are, at this moment, standing, right in the middle of your own “acres of diamonds.”
  • Everything in the world we want to do or get done, we must do with and through people.
  • People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be—whether they will admit that or not.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Businesses – The Container Store

Based on your location, you may very well not have one of these unique stores in your area. However, due to its continued success and growth, there’s an excellent chance you’ve heard about The Container Store.

From humble beginnings in a rented storefront with a wooden box for a cash register, Garrett Boone (chairman) and Kip Tindell (CEO and president) opened a small store in 1978 specializing in home organization products, such as wire shelving, plastic shower totes, shoe bags, food packaging, knife and peg racks, and bins. In so doing, they created a new retail category with a first year start-up of just $35,000 and a company that has steadily grown revenues by approximately 25% per year ever since!

Today, it boasts 45 stores in 18 markets in more than 15 states from coast to coast, mostly in major cities in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Texas.

While these background facts are interesting, they have little to do with the “uniqueness” of this organization. Culture, however, has everything to do with its success and distinctiveness. Let’s take a look at some of the factors which make up this rare culture and the results which have evolved.

The store founders embrace the idea that if you treat your people well, success will naturally follow. Some business owners claim that employee loyalty is directly tied to how good employees feel about their jobs. It’s a debatable concept, but it seems to be working for The Container Store.

It currently boasts more than 3,200 very happy employees. In an industry where 100-percent turnover is common, The Container Store boasts a very low 15- to 20-percent. Forty-one percent of new hires come from employee referrals. It’s also landed the company on Fortune magazine’s annual list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” every year since 1999. The Container Store also received the Retail Innovator’s Award from the National Retail Federation based in Washington, D.C.  In addition, it received the Workforce magazine Optimas Award in the category of General Excellence for outstanding people-management strategies.

To achieve the company’s primary goal of providing extraordinary service, each store has a full-time trainer, and all employees receive more than 241 hours of training for employees in their first year—an astonishing feat for a retailer in an industry that usually provides workers with an average of seven  hours of training per year. After their first year at The Container Store, full-time employees receive an average of 160 hours of training annually.

Employees at each of the 45 stores use “the huddle,” as it’s officially called, twice a week for 10 minutes, before or after the start of business, for everything from discussing operations to getting fired up about sales. These huddles have evolved into a very effective all-purpose communication tool.

They also symbolize The Container Store’s reputation as an enjoyable place to work: Three times (most recently in 2001), the company has topped Fortune magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.” It’s clear that The Container Store’s huddles are so successful because its employees want to be part of this winning team.

One of the most popular ways that employees acknowledge each other is through the celebration mailbox, a voicemail system designed for employees to leave stories about good service experiences they have observed.

Not long after creating the company, founders Boone and Tindell created innovative parameters called foundation principles. They are a set of humanistic, spiritually based, do-unto-others philosophies. These principles are practiced internally among employees and are reflected in how they treat each other and how the company treats them. The six value statements represent a collection of business philosophies and stories that embody how they think a company should be run. Most companies deliver their values statements in a formal document, but Boone and Tindell prefer to dress in costumes to act out the stories. “It helps people remember them,” Anderson says. “We use storytelling to keep our employees focused on our culture. It’s very important to our success.”

The Container Store’s Continuing Education program is a great example of unique employee growth opportunities hosted at the home office. Continuing Education is a three-day intensive training program for career-minded employees from all areas of the company. Each department within the company develops a creative presentation for the Continuing Education class to provide a better understanding of each department’s function. Additionally, participants enjoy a four-hour rotation in the Distribution Center.

Customer service is The Container Store’s core competency, so hiring people who are self-motivated and team-oriented with a passion for customer service is key. Ultimately, this translates into a strong customer-service philosophy that allows all employees to take ownership of the company and make decisions based on their own intuition and discretion. The company strives to astonish its employees, which makes it an easy proposition for them, in turn, to astonish customers.

Looking beyond the minimum-wage concept, The Container Store has taken the bold move of paying employees two to three times the industry average, which cultivates fierce employee loyalty. “Kip and I worked for 18 years very closely on building the structure that allows us to pay more—to think out of the box and devote 10 percent of store sales to payroll,” Barrett says. The industry average is 3 to 4 percent. This goes back to focusing on what the company considers its number one asset: employees.

The Container Store employees enjoy tremendous benefits which most certainly account for their loyalty and low turnover. Those benefits include:

  • Security in a financially strong company
  • Great pay and exceptional training
  • A 40% merchandise discount
  • A special 50% discount on elfa, its best-selling product
  • Casual work attire
  • 401(k) plan with matching company contributions
  • Medical/Dental/Vision plan for full-time and part-time employees

Everything puts The Container Store at the top of Fortune magazine’s list of “Best Companies to Work For” year after year.

Based on its continued success and rapid growth, The Container Store may soon be in your area. Regardless, there’s much to learn from this unique and productive culture.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders – Colleen Barrett

This high-spirited, dynamic leader has been consistently named and recognized as one of the most powerful businesswomen in America! She’s very well-known within her industry and the state of Texas but, ironically, few other people recognize her name, her position, or what she has done to attain her many accomplishments. And that’s fine with Colleen Barrett. She avoids the limelight as she focuses all of her energy and effort on her organization and the beloved employees who grew an upstart discount air carrier into America’s busiest airline by passenger volume.

Much has been written about her legendary employer, Southwest Airlines, and its co-founder Herb Kelleher. Stories about this organization and Kelleher border on fantasy and fable. However, what many are unaware of is the fact that Colleen Barrett created the majority of that culture in her own unique fashion.

As you might guess after witnessing the chaos of the airline industry over the past decade, there are very few airline executives quite like Barrett, 65, and probably won’t be many like her in the future. She is truly one-of-a-kind.

Barrett’s long path to the president’s office began in 1967 when she was a 23-year-old legal secretary looking for a job in San Antonio. She had just graduated with highest honors from Becker Junior College in Worcester, Maine. The Vermont native joined an established law firm that included another East Coast transplant, Herb Kelleher, and his disorganized office. From the time she began helping Kelleher, as an executive assistant, she found herself doing legal work for this little airline being started by one of his clients, San Antonio businessman Rollin King.

After a bruising, vicious legal battle, Southwest finally started flying passengers on June 18, 1971. Then, in 1978, the first chief executive, Lamar Muse, resigned in a boardroom battle, pushing Kelleher—and right-hand person Colleen Barrett—into a much more active role.

Kelleher became chairman, even as he kept up as much of his San Antonio law practice as possible. And for the eight months it took to get a new CEO in place, he and Barrett would work all week in Dallas, then fly home to San Antonio on the weekend.

Then, in 1981, Muse’s replacement as president and CEO, Howard Putnam, quit to join Braniff International Airways. Kelleher took the chief executive’s and president’s job as well, and Barrett moved to Dallas.

From there, the legend of the Herb-and-Colleen show grew. Herb was this brilliant, flamboyant executive; Colleen was the assistant who kept him organized, on focus, on time.

But as she was helping Kelleher, she was putting her own stamp on the airline, making sure that the carrier did the right thing for its employees. The underlying principle was that if the airline took care of its employees, the employees would take care of the customers, and the shareholders would win too. This has been Barrett’s personal philosophy and battle cry since day one!

In 1986, she was named vice president of administration.  Then, in 1990, Kelleher told Barrett that she was certainly ready for the promotion to the level of executive vice president. He even allowed her to pick her own title. She chose that of Executive Vice President of Customers, allowing her to continue her crusade on behalf of both internal and external customers.

In 2001, as Kelleher prepared to step back from some of his responsibilities, the board of directors named general counsel Jim Parker Chief Executive and Barrett President and Chief Operating Officer.

The new titles helped the world understand that Barrett had played a key part in making Southwest what it has become. She has played a key role in Southwest’s unusual and now legendary approach to customer service, which aims to treat the company’s 35,000 employees like family, to make the workplace fun—and then to carry that upbeat attitude to consumers. It’s a strategy that has made an upstart discount carrier into America’s busiest airline by passenger volume.

One unusual aspect of her philosophy is that employees come before customers, although that’s intentional in order to ultimately drive the most value to the customer. That philosophy, coupled with the brilliance to hedge fuel costs, is creating remarkable success even in today’s floundering air industry. Once again, it all comes down to people.

Barrett stepped down as President and Corporate Secretary of Southwest effective July 16, 2008. Although she also yielded her longtime position as Corporate Secretary, Southwest has announced that she will remain an employee of the corporation through July 2013.

Barrett is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations in Dallas, Texas; serves on the JCPenney Company, Inc. Board of Directors, the Ken Blanchard College of Business, and the Becker College Board of Trustees; and has served on numerous advisory boards and commissions.

Here are just a few of her many business awards and honors:

  • Recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Women by the Dallas Business Journal’s Women in Business (2008)
  • Texas Labor Management Hall of Fame (2008)
  • Tower Award, National Association of Women Business Owners, Cleveland (2008)
  • Dallas YWCA Centennial Award 100 Women, 100 Years (2008)
  • Junior Achievement’s Dallas Business Hall of Fame (2007)
  • Girls Inc. Honoree (2007)
  • Outstanding Woman in Aviation Award (2007)
  • World’s 100 Most Powerful Women: Forbes.com (2005, 2004)
  • Horatio Alger Award (2005)
  • Women in Aviation, International Pioneer Hall of Fame (2005)
  • Aiming High Honoree: National Organization of Women (2003)
  • Featured in Texas Women-Trailblazers, Shining Stars & Cowgirls (2003)

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders – Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi is the Chairperson of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PepsiCo., the world’s fourth largest food and beverage company. Nooyi has been named the #1 Most Powerful Business Woman in the world in 2006 and 2007 by Fortune Magazine. According to the polls Forbes magazine conducted, Nooyi ranks third on the 2008 list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She was also named one of America’s Best Leaders of 2008 by U.S. News & World Report. Today, Indra Nooyi presides over 185,000 PepsiCo employees in nearly 200 countries.

Indra was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India in 1955. Her father worked at the State Bank of Hyderabad and her grandfather was a district judge. She completed her schooling in Madras, India. She went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Madra Christian College in 1974 and immediately entered the PGDBA (Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Administration) program at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. After graduating from IIM-C in 1976 with a Master’s degree in finance and marketing. She worked in India and played lead guitar in an all-women rock band in her hometown of Madras, India.

Against her parents’ advice, she came to the United States in 1978 at age 23 to earn her M.B.A. in Public and Private Management at Yale where she worked as a dorm receptionist—opting for the graveyard shift because it paid an extra 50 cents per hour. She also played cricket in college and sang karaoke at corporate gatherings. Her parents thought she should have stayed in India, gotten married and raised at a family. “I always had this urge, this desire, this passion,” she once explained, to “settle in the United States,” where she is now the married mother of two daughters.

After earning her Master’s degree from Yale in 1980, Nooyi started at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). From there she moved on to strategy positions at Motorola and ABB. She then went on to become the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Strategic Marketing for Asea Brown Boveri (ABB—the world’s largest builder of electricity grids) and Vice President and Director of Corporate Strategy and Planning at Motorola. She also had stints at Mettur Beardsell (textiles) and Johnson & Johnson.

Nooyi came to PepsiCo in 1994 as the company’s chief strategist. From the start, she helped executives make some tough decisions. She played a vital role in starting Tricon, which is currently known as Yum Brands, Inc. Seeing less future in fast food, she moved the company to shed KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell in 1997, arguing PepsiCo couldn’t bring enough value to the fast food industry.

Betting instead on beverages and packaged food, she helped engineer a $3 billion acquisition of Tropicana in 1998 and a $14 billion takeover in 2001 of Quaker Oats, maker of Gatorade. The moves proved prophetic choices. Company earnings soared, and so, too, did her stature.

According to BusinessWeek, since she became CFO in 2000, the company’s annual revenues have risen 72%, while net profit more than doubled, to $5.6 billion in 2006.

On August 14, 2006, she was named the CEO of PepsiCo, becoming the fifth CEO in PepsiCo’s 42-year history. By 2006, Nooyi was one of just two finalists to succeed CEO Steven Reinemund as leader of one of the world’s best-known brands. She got the nod in August becoming the fifth CEO in PepsiCo’s 42-year history. She then immediately flew to visit the other contender. “Tell me whatever I need to do to keep you,” she implored. They had worked together for years, both loved music, and Nooyi was persuasive, offering to boost her competitor’s compensation to nearly match her own. He agreed to serve as her right-hand man, creating her version of a team of rivals.

As CEO, she has continued to pursue her unusual, and tremendously ambitious, vision for reinventing PepsiCo. She is now focusing on taking the company from snack food to health food, from caffeine colas to fruit juices, and from shareholder value to sustainable enterprise. That is an ambitious goal which she plans to attain.

In doing so, Nooyi is attempting to move beyond the historic trade-off between profits and people. Captured in her artful mantra—”Performance with purpose”—she wants to give Wall Street what it wants but also the planet what it needs.

By 2010, Nooyi has pledged half of the firm’s U.S. revenue will come from healthful products such as low-cal Gatorade and high-fiber oatmeal. The company will also abandon fossil fuels in favor of wind and solar and will campaign vigorously against obesity.

Nooyi faces many challenges in today’s globally competitive, financially challenging world. If she can lead her organization to the goals she’s established, and her historic record indicates that she can, Nooyi can pretty much choose her next challenge.

With annual revenue of $39 billion, the enterprise she leads is as large as many federal agencies, and moving to run one of those agencies could be her next venture. “After PepsiCo, I do want to go to Washington,” she has said. “I want to give back.”

For all that, Nooyi remains profoundly personal. She told the BBC in March that she calls her mother in India twice a day. “At the end of the day,” said the CEO of one of America’s biggest enterprises, “don’t forget that you’re a person, don’t forget you’re a mother, don’t forget you’re a wife, don’t forget you’re a daughter.” When your job is done, “what you’re left is family, friends, and faith.”

Nooyi is a Successor Fellow at Tale Corporation and serves on the board of several organizations, including Motorola, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the International Rescue Committee, and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

In 2007, she was awarded Padma Bhushan by Government of India. In 2008, she was elected to the fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In March 2008, Nooyi was elected Chairman of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), a non-profit business advocacy organization representing nearly 300 of the largest U.S. companies doing business in India and two dozen of India’s global companies investing in America. Nooyi leads USIBC’s Board of Directors, an assembly of 25 senior executives representing a cross-section of American industry.

Among her friends are former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who describes her as a “wild New York Yankees fan and a caring CEO.” Though raised on cricket, she has become an expert on New York Yankees statistics and Chicago Bulls teamwork. Nooyi is a master of substance, knowing PepsiCo’s product lines and financial metrics in depth.

Keep an eye on this dynamic leader as you are going to hear much more about her in the coming years.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders – Paul Harvey

As I look back over the many stages of my life, I find few constants compared to the many never-ending changes which have influenced me. One unusual, but very positive, constant has been a voice … a voice which influenced me to pursue a career in radio in my early years. A voice with idiosyncratic delivery, dramatic pauses, quirky intonations and a folksiness which offered a comfort zone to anyone who heard it. This voice was on the radio and belonged to a man by the name of Paul Harvey Aurandt, better known simply as Paul Harvey.

He’s an American radio commentator with an estimated audience of 22 million people a week—and yet when you hear his broadcast, you feel certain that he’s talking directly to you and you alone. That’s a rare talent indeed. However, Paul’s had lot of practice. He’s 90 years old, one of the oldest syndicated radio personalities in the U.S., and is among the very few remaining radio talents who are older than the medium itself.

Radio has always been part of Paul’s life. Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he built radio receivers as a young boy. Noting this interest, a high school teacher suggested that he get a job at the local radio station, which he did. Although he started by just cleaning up around the KVOO studio, he later moved on to fill in on the air, reading commercials and news.

He continued his work at KVOO as he attended the University of Tulsa, first as a radio announcer and later as a program director. Radio was in his blood. His career took him to many radio stations in many cities, which is a requirement for success in this industry. He moved on to be a station manager, a newscaster, a director of special events at many stations and also worked as a roving reporter.

After serving in the military, Paul moved to Chicago in 1945 and returned to broadcasting for the local ABC affiliate. He soon became the most popular newscaster in the Windy City. His popular shows included “Jobs for G.I. Joe” and “The Rest of the Story Paul Harvey News and Comment.” He could be heard weekdays in the morning and noon and again on Saturdays. He shared news in such a way as everyone could understand it … and has been doing it ever since. For 20 years starting in the late 1960s, Paul’s televised, five-minute editorial was offered to local stations to follow their news or be shown separately.

In 1976, ABC Radio Networks premiered “The Rest of the Story” as a separate series which captured the imagination and curiosity of listeners as Paul dug into stories behind the world’s stories of famous events and people. This show was so well-received that it lead to a series of best-selling books. Harvey’s son, a concert pianist, created and produced the series. He remains the show’s only writer.

“Harvey’s News and Comment” is streamed on the World Wide Web twice a day. Paul Harvey News has been called the “largest one-man network in the world,” as it is carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations around the world and 300 newspapers. His broadcasts and newspaper columns have been reprinted in the Congressional Record more than those of any other commentator. In late 2000, Harvey signed a 10-year, $100 million contract with ABC Radio Networks.

To give you an idea of how well he connected to his audience, consider the fact that loyal listeners have had an on-going relationship with Paul’s wife, lovingly referred to as “Angel.” She was recognized throughout the industry as “The First Lady of Radio,” as one of the great broadcasting figures of the past century, and the first producer ever inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. Radio obviously runs in this family. Paul lost his beloved “Angel” earlier this year after a year-long battle with leukemia.

Paul is back on the air part time after taking some time off earlier this year to deal with pneumonia, bronchitis, cataract surgery and, of course, the death of his “Angel.” Harvey has returned to telling us “The Rest of the Story” on a full-time basis, but has cut back on his daily news duties. If you’d like more info as to his current schedule, go to paulharvey.com.

Paul is well-known for his simple, but memorable, catch phrases—often imitated but never duplicated. He begins one of his stories with: “Hello Americans, this is Paul Harvey. You know what the news is, in a minute, you’ll hear the rest of the story.” His sign-off is also short, simple, but one that sticks in your mind until you hear him again: “Paul Harvey … Good day.”

It would be interesting to peek into Paul’s home office to get a glance of the many honors he’s achieved in his illustrious career. He’s received 11 Freedom Foundation Awards, the Horatio Alger Award, and appeared on the Gallop Poll list of America’s most admired men. He’s been elected to the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Hall of Fame, and the DeMolay Hall of Fame (a Masonic institution). He’s also been named the Commentator of the Year, American of the Year, Father of the Year, Person of the Year and Salesman of the Year. He’s also the proud recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ most prestigious civilian award.

Paul’s best-selling books include:

  • Autumn of Liberty
  • The Rest of the Story
  • Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor
  • Paul Harvey’s the Rest of the Story
  • More of Paul Harvey’s the Rest of the Story
  • Destiny: From Paul Harvey’s the Rest of the Story
  • Paul Harvey’s for What It’s Worth

Let’s hope we have access to this unique commentary for years to come. At 90, Paul is obviously in the prime of his life. Good day!

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders – Robert A. Lutz

Here’s another one of those unique leaders who falls into that peculiar category of “You’ve probably never heard of him but would have benefited greatly if you had!” Obviously, I just created that category, but I can think of a number of great leaders who would certainly qualify for inclusion. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why we established this particular column. We hope we can shed some light on many of these leaders who are definitely well-known and well-respected in their own circles and industries but relatively unknown by those outside of those areas.

I must admit that I would know little or nothing about Robert A. Lutz if not for my long-time relationship with Chrysler, Ford and General Motors as a trainer and consultant. It didn’t take me long to recognize the fact that he was highly respected by all three corporations and contributed greatly to each in many critical ways as well.

  • He’s not only a very talented man, but he falls into many other genres as well.
  • He’s a “Car Guy” through and through.
  • He’s a proud former Marine fighter pilot and still lives the values he learned in the Corps.
  • He’s the quintessential maverick who says what he believes rather than what he believes others want to hear.
  • He’s a high achiever and very successful businessman who didn’t graduate from high school until he was 22.
  • Born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1932, he’s a vegetarian who relishes a good cigar.
  • He’s well-known as an avid collector of classic automobiles and military jets.
  • He’s a firm believer in the balance of common sense and free-wheeling creativity, and that’s certainly a rarity in today’s world.
  • He has held senior management positions in four of the world’s top car companies: Ford, General Motors, BMW, and Chrysler.
  • He has a tremendous sense of humor and upbeat look on life. For instance, he often shares his “Law of Life” which he borrowed from an old Rolling Stones song which suggests: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want—But If You Try Sometime, You Just Might Find, You Get What You Need.”

Let’s take a quick overview of an incredible career.

  • He was a U.S. Marine aviator from 1954 to 1959 (and remained in reserves until 1965).
  • He began his automotive career in September 1963 at GM, where he held a variety of senior positions in Europe until December 1971.
  • For the next three years, he served as executive vice president of sales at BMW in Munich and as a member of that company’s board of management. He’s credited in the development of the BMW 3-Series. He is one of few senior automotive executives with experience in both hemispheres and more than one major manufacturer.

Lutz joined the Ford Motor Company in 1974 where he held several senior executive positions until 1986 … Chairman of Ford of Europe, Executive Vice President of Ford International Operations, Vice President in charge of Ford Truck Operations and a member of Ford’s Board of Directors. At Ford he led the creation of the Ford Sierra, initiated development of the original Ford Explorer and spearheaded importation of models from Ford of Europe to the United States.

In 1986, Lutz moved to Chrysler Corporation as the executive initially primarily responsible for product development where he oversaw the development of the Dodge Viper, Plymouth Prowler and Chrysler LH platform automobiles; subsequently he became president and chief operating officer, and then vice chairman. In 1998, Lutz became the Chairman and CEO of Exide Technologies.

In September of 2001, Lutz returned to General Motors as Vice Chairman of Product Development. He then became an Interim President of GM Europe. Lutz has been Vice Chairman of Global Product Development of General Motors Corporation since March 2008 and serves as its Acting Chief Executive Officer of GM Europe.

Read his best-selling book GUTS, and you’ll get valuable insight into not only his rare sense of humor but also his unusual, but successful, approach to business in today’s ever-changing, chaotic and competitive environment. In this book he shares his Immutable Laws of Business. At first glance, you may think he’s way off base. After all, these laws go against everything we’ve ever been taught. However, read on to laugh, understand, and quickly agree with his philosophy.

LAW #1: The Customer Isn’t Always Right.
LAW #2: The Primary Purpose of Business Is Not to Make Money.
LAW #3: When Everybody Else Is Doing It, Don’t!
LAW #4: Too Much Quality Can Ruin You.
LAW #5: Financial Controls Are Bad!
LAW #6: Disruptive People Are an Asset.
LAW #7: Teamwork Isn’t Always Good.
LAW #8: When You Inherit a Really Big Rat’s Nest, Don’t Try to Lure Them out with Food. Use a Flamethrower.

Robert Lutz truly believes that every organization must cultivate a “split personality,” combining common sense with freewheeling creativity. It defines the leader’s role in maintaining a healthy balance between the two. And it argues that a dynamic tension between them is the prime attribute that enables top-performing companies to introduce new products and achieve record profits.

This is a leader you’ll definitely want to learn more about.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Businesses – “Big Brown” Is More than It Appears

I must admit that I’ve gained a whole new respect for an organization that we, as customers, may be guilty of having taken for granted. It’s UPS—the United Parcel Service. When we hear the name, most of us think of big brown trucks in traffic, three simple letters, and package delivery. It’s really so much more than that. I doubt that many of us associate UPS with terms such as creativity, logistics, technology, technical repair and configuration; supply chain design and planning; international trade management, and customs brokerage. Our bad. There’s a lot we don’t know about this cutting-edge organization. For instance, were you aware of the following facts?

  • UPS is 101 years old.
  • It was founded in Seattle, with world headquarters in Atlanta.
  • UPS has 425,300 employees worldwide (358,000 in the U.S.).
  • 4 billion packages and documents were delivered last year.
  • 15.8 million packages and documents were delivered daily last year.
  • 2.3 million packages and documents are delivered daily by air.
  • 1.9 million international packages and documents are delivered daily.
  • The service area includes more than 200 countries and territories; every address in North America and Europe.
  • 7.9 million customers are served daily (1.8 million pick-up, 6.1 million delivery).
  • There are an average of 18.5 million daily on-line tracking requests at UPS.com.
  • Retail access can be found at: The UPS Store® (4,647 locations), Mail Boxes Etc.® (1,306 locations); 1,000 UPS customers centers, 17,000 authorized outlets, and 40,000 UPS drop boxes.
  • There are 1,801 operating facilities.
  • UPS has a delivery fleet of 93,637 package cars, vans, tractors and motorcycles, including 2,218 alternative-fuel vehicles.
  • UPS has a jet aircraft fleet of 268, the 9th largest airline in the world.
  • It has 311 chartered aircraft.
  • The daily flight segment includes 1,130 domestic and 796 international.
  • UPS serves 424 domestic airports and 389 international airports.
  • UPS air hubs are located in Louisville, Kentucky; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Dallas, Texas; Ontario, Canada; Rockford, Illinois; Columbia, South Carolina; Hartford, Connecticut; Miami, Florida; Cologne/Bonn, Germany; Taipei, Taiwan; Pampanga, Philippines; Hong Kong, Singapore; and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • There are 1,033 facilities in more than 120 countries, occupying 38 million square feet.
  • UPS is the leading provider of less-than-truckload services coast-to-coast with 6,353 tractors; 21,818 trailers, and 215+ service centers.

The next time you see one of those big brown trucks on the road or a bermuda-clad delivery person hustling a package to a customer, you’ll know a little bit more about the organization behind what you see. You might be interested in knowing that this is one of the most creative and innovative businesses in the world. Check out Make the Right Turn to Save Gas and Don’t Underestimate UPS for a few shocking examples.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders – Warren Buffett

Here we find a somewhat unusual man. Let’s start with his name. His full name is Warren Washington Albert Johnothan Samuel Armididajad Buffett.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve asked friends, neighbors, relatives, and clients what they knew about Warren Buffett. The majority of them had heard the name before. Few knew why. Some knew him for his wealth, a few for his relationship with Bill Gates, a smattering knew him as a noted philanthropist, some knew him as one of the world’s greatest stock market investors, a couple knew of his sense of humor and frugality, others knew him as ad advisor to governments and organizations, and several knew him as the largest shareholder, Chairman & CEO, of Berkshire Hathaway. Oddly enough, those in the last category knew little or nothing about Berkshire Hathaway. All were correct.

This is indeed a very complex man who has little concern for being in the spotlight. Let’s take a quick look at each of the areas mentioned above in hopes of gaining greater insight into a man we should know more about.

Wealth

The 78-year-old Warren Buffett happens to be the richest man on the planet. He has seen his fortune swell to an estimated $62 billion, up $10 billion from a year ago. As of February of 2008, this tidy bundle puts him ahead of his good friend, bridge partner, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates who was the richest man in the world for 13 straight years.

Frugality

Buffett’s current salary as CEO is a mere $100,000 per year with no stock options, which is among the lowest CEO salaries in the U.S. among larger companies. He lives in the same house in his Omaha, Nebraska, neighborhood that he bought in 1958 for $31,500—today valued around $700,000. He does not carry a cell phone, does not have a computer at his desk, and drives his own car. Not one for dining out at fine restaurants unless absolutely necessary, Warren Buffett is reputed to usually eat burgers; he drives himself to McDonalds for meals—steaks and Cherry Cokes.

When Buffett plays golf with his friend, Bill Gates, who’s on his board, their typical bet is $1. He chooses to fly coach rather than first class. His children will not inherit a significant proportion of his wealth. Buffett once commented, “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.”

Philanthropy

Buffett is a noted philanthropist. He also announced plans to contribute additional Berkshire stock valued at approximately $6.7 billion to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and to other foundations headed by his three children.

In June of 2008, e-Bay conducted a five-day online charity auction for a “Power Lunch with Warren Buffett.” It was won with high bid of $2,110,100 allowing the winner to dine with Buffett, at New York’s Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse, along with up to seven companions for the private lunch. They were allowed to ask Buffett anything at all, except what he’s buying or selling. Auction proceeds benefit the San Francisco Glide Foundation.

In 2006, he auctioned his 2001 Lincoln Town Car on eBay to raise money for Girls Inc. Also in 2006, Buffett announced a plan to give away his fortune to charity, with 83% of it going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The donation, which will come from his Berkshire Hathway shares, will amount to about $31 billion, based on current values, making it the largest charitable donation in history.

Sense of Humor

Often called the “Oracle of Omaha,” he was listed in 2007 among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. Buffett’s speeches are known for mixing business discussions with humor. Each year, Buffett presides over Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders’ meeting in the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska, an event drawing over 20,000 visitors from both United States and abroad, giving it the nickname “Woodstock of Capitalism.” Buffett’s writings are known for containing literary quotes ranging from the Bible to Mae West, as well as Midwestern advice and numerous jokes.

Berkshire Hathaway

In 1962, investor Warren Buffett began buying stock in Berkshire Hathaway. After some clashes with the owners, he bought up enough shares to change the management and soon controlled the company. Buffett initially maintained Berkshire’s core business of textiles, but by 1967, he was expanding into the insurance industry and other investments.

Today, Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, whose core business is insurance, including property and casualty insurance, reinsurance and specialty nonstandard insurance. However, it also oversees and manages a large variety of subsidiary companies which include: International Diary Queen, Benjamin Moore & Co., The Pampered Chef®, H.H. Brown Shoe Group, Helzberg Diamonds, GEICO Auto Insurance, See’s Candies, Fruit of the Loom®, Star Furniture, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Boat U.S., Buffalo NEWS, NetJets®, and the Acme Brick Company to name just a few. It also has a controlling stake in Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, and Wells Fargo.

Early Years

Buffett, son of a Nebraska politician, was the second of three children, and displayed an amazing aptitude for both money and business at a very early age. He delivered newspapers and would go door-to-door selling chewing gum and Coke from his grandfather’s grocery store. He purchased six packs of Coca Cola for a quarter and then sold them for a nickel a bottle. He bought his first stock at age eleven and filed his first tax return at age 13, claiming a $35 deduction for his bicycle. He bought a 40-acre farm at the age of fourteen, using money he had saved from his paper route. Acquaintances recount his uncanny ability to calculate columns of numbers off the top of his head—a feat Buffett still amazes business colleagues with today. In his senior year of high school, Buffett and a friend spent $25 to purchase a used pinball machine, which they placed in a barber shop. Within a few months, they owned three machines in different locations.

Buffett graduated from Columbia Business School. While working as a stockbroker on Wall Street, he purchased a Sinclair gas station as an investment. During that time, Buffett also took a Dale Carnegie public speaking course. Using what he learned, he felt confident enough to teach a night class at the University of Nebraska, “Investment Principles.” The average age of the students he taught was more than twice his own. His investments and partnerships continued to grow until his destined relationship with Berkshire Hathaway. The rest is history.

Major Weakness

He admits his inability to put up with bureaucracy and inefficiency. Though Berkshire has about 190,000 employees, he runs the $141-billion company with 17 employees at its Omaha Headquarters. He says, “We delegate almost to the point of abdiction.”

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

Little-known Facts about Well-known Leaders – Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Most of those NOT born in a barn have certainly heard of Google. However, the two young men responsible for the world’s largest Internet search engine may not be as well-known to many. Known by those in the technical community as “Geeks Gone Wild,” Sergey Brin and Larry Page, are No. 32 ($18.7 billion) and 33 ($18.6 billion) respectively on the 2008 list of Forbes list of the world’s billionaires.

Obviously, things weren’t always that way. The co-founders first met as Stanford University graduate students in computer science in the summer of 1995. Sergey was in a group of potential new students which Brin had volunteered to show around the campus. They actually weren’t very fond of one another until they found a common interest retrieving relevant information from large data sets. They went on to co-author what is widely considered their seminal contribution, a paper entitled “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.” The paper has since gone on to become the tenth-most accessed scientific paper at Stanford University.

In August 1996 the initial version of Google was made available, still on the Stanford University website. Although they don’t quite qualify as a “rags to riches” story, they did share a humble beginning by renting a garage in Menlo Park, California, for $1,700 a month. Today they boast four core buildings, fondly called Googleplex, in Mountain View, California, totaling 506,317 square feet as well as branch offices all over the globe. This complex must be seen to be believed. We’ll tell you more about this unique culture in a future article. The original two employees now lead a staff of about 17,000 full-time employees.

That growth is a result of the fact that this dynamic duo have virtually cornered the search engine market, holding about 58% of the market while their next two competitors, Yahoo and Microsoft, hold 22% and 9% respectively. Even if these two competitors were to join together they would still trail Google by 27%. They also extended ad business into TV, cell phones, and various online venues; they bought Web video portal YouTube for $1.65 billion last year and recently partnered with EchoStar, LG Electronics, Salesforce.com.

Page and Brin ran Google as co-presidents until 2001 when they hired Eric Schmidt to become Chairman and CEO of Google. Now that Google is the world’s entry point to the Internet, Google plans to become the world’s dominant advertising broker, the world’s dominant social network, the world’s dominant mobile supplier, and the world’s dominant product of alternative energy. Talk about ambitious goals!

Now let’s take a look at the co-founders individually:

Mikkhailovich Brin

  • Mikkhailovich (Sergey) Brin is a 35-year-old Russian-born American entrepreneur.
  • Brin was born in Moscow in 1973 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1979 at the age of 6 with his mathematician parents. His father gained work as a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland and his mother went on to work at NASA.
  • He attended grade school at a Montessori School in Maryland, received further education at home, attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School, and enrolled in the University of Maryland to study computer science and mathematics, where he received his B.S. degree in 1993 with high honors.
  • Brin began his graduate study in computer science at Stanford University on a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation. He earned his Master’s degree in August 1995 ahead of schedule in the process of his Ph.D. studies.
  • Brin has also received an honorary MBA from the IE Business School.
  • Brin expressed interest in the Internet very early on in his studies at Stanford. He authored and co-authored various papers on data-mining and pattern extraction. He also wrote software to ease the process of putting scientific papers often written in TeX, a text-processing language, into HTML form, as well as a website for film ratings.
  • While studying for his Ph.D., he met Lawrence Page and went on to work with him on a project to organize the Internet and improve the way people search for information. They first nicknamed the project “BackRub” as it relied heavily on the number and relevancy of links pointing to a website.
  • Brin has appeared on television shows and many documentaries, including Charlie Rose, CNBC, and CNN. In 2004, he and Larry Page were named “Persons of the Week” by ABC World News Tonight. In January 2005 Sergey Brin was nominated to be one of the World Economic Forum’s “Young Global Leaders.”
  • In 2007, Brin was cited by PC World as #1 on a list of the “50 most important people on the Web,” along with Larry Page and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
  • In May 2007, Brin married Anne Wojcicki in the Bahamas. Wojcicki is a biotech analyst and a 1996 graduate of Yale University with a degree in biology. She co-founded 23andMe, a personal DNA genotyping service.
  • He is also an investor in Tesla Motors, which is developing the Tesla Roadster, a 221-mile-range battery electric vehicle. He has also placed an order for the Roadster. It is reported by Conde Nast Portfolio that Brin drives a Toyota Prius.
  • In June 2008, it was announced that Brin had made a $5 million investment in Space Adventures, the Virginia-based space tourism company. His investment will serve as a deposit for a reservation on one of Space Adventures’ proposed flights in 2011. So far, Space Adventures has sent five tourists into space.
  • Brin currently holds the position of President of Technology at Google and has a net worth estimated at $18.5 billion as of March 9, 2007, making him the 26th richest person in the world and the 5th richest person in the United States. He is also the fourth-youngest billionaire in the world.

Lawrence Edward Page

  • Lawrence Edward “Larry” Page is a 35-year-old U.S.-born American entrepreneur.
  • Page was born in Lansing, Michigan, in 1973 to the late Dr. Carl Victor Page, a professor of computer science and artificial intelligence at Michigan State University and one of the University of Michigan’s first computer science Ph.D. graduates, and Gloria Page, a computer programming teacher at Michigan State University. Page is also the brother of Carl Victoer Page, Jr., a co-founder of eGroups, later sold to Yahoo! for approximately half a billion dollars.
  • Page attended a Montessori school in Lansing, Michigan, and graduated from East Lansing High School. He holds a B.S. degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan with honors and a Master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University.
  • While at the University of Michigan, Page created an inkjet printer made of Lego bricks. He was also a member of the solar car team and served as the President of the HKN, a national electrical and computer engineering honor society.
  • After enrolling for a Ph.D. program in computer science at Stamford, Page was in search for a dissertation theme and considered exploring the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web. His supervisor encouraged him to pursue this idea, and Page later recalled this as the “best advice I ever got.” He focused on the problem of finding out which web pages link to a given page, considering the number and nature of such backlinks to be valuable information about that page.
  • Sergey Brin soon joined Page in his research project, nicknamed “BackRub.” They developed the Page Rank algorithm and realized that it could be used to build a search engine far superior to existing ones.
  • In 2007, Page was cited by PC World as #1 on the list of the 50 most important people on the web, along with Brin and Schmidt.
  • Page is also an investor in Tesla Motors, which developed the Tesla Roadster, a 250-mile-range battery electric vehicle.
  • Page currently holds the position of President of Products at Google and has an estimated net worth of $18.5 billion, placing him at rank 26 on Forbes’s list of the richest persons in the world, together with Brin.
  • The World Economic Forum named Page as a Global Leader for Tomorrow, and The X PRIZE chose Page as a trustee for their board.
  • Page married Lucinda Southworth at Richard Branson’s Caribbean island, Necker Island, on December 8, 2007.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.