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Here are the most valuable principles from Bill McDermott at Leadercast 2014. What questions do these raise for your organization? How about for your personal leadership?

Starting a Deli + Applying at Xerox

  • It all begins and ends with the customer.
  • Started a delicatessen. A teenage customer gave this feedback: “When we want to be treated with dignity and respect, we come to your store. When we want to steal stuff, we go to 7-Eleven.”
  • When interviewing with Xerox, Bill recognized that other applicants were just window-shopping companies. He thought, “Now I’m back in charge because I know exactly why I’m here today.”
  • When his interviewer told him that HR would call him back soon, “Bill said, ‘I promised my dad that I was coming home with a job tonight. And I haven’t broken a promise to him in 28 years.’” — He was offered the job on the spot.

Building Your Dream

  • Recognize who has the real force and power to drive your decision forward.
  • Always be open and agile. What you imagine in your mind will happen in the meeting will change before the meeting even begins.
  • 2 types of people in organizations: The people who go for whatever opportunity comes. And the people who wait around for the perfect opportunity.
  • Bill took leadership of the worst performing region in the company.
  • 3 things employees in the worst performing region asked for: 1) Stop cutting costs; 2) Give us a clear vision of what you want; 3) Bring back our Christmas party.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of an underdog with a plan built around the wishes of the people.
  • In a company turnaround, the voice of what is possible has to change.
  • Build your strategy around where the world is going…not where it has been.
  • Your organization is either growing, getting bored, or probably broken.
  • Have an audaciously bold dream for who you are and what you mean for this world. And don’t ever let anyone take that from you.

Want to see other sessions from Leadercast 2014? You can find notes for all of them here.

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