6 26 11 A Sitting Duck Can never catch a turkey

6 26 11 A Sitting Duck Can never catch a turkey -...

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A Sitting Duck Can’t Catch a Moving Turkey By ADAM BRYANT Published: June 25, 2011 Sign In to E-Mail   Print   Reprints   This interview with  John W. Rowe , chairman and C.E.O. of the  Exelon Corporation , the electric  utility, was conducted and condensed by  Adam Bryant .   Librado Romero/The New York Times John W. Rowe, chairman and C.E.O. of the Exelon Corporation, the electric utility company based in Chicago, says decisive actions are vital. “If you're just standing still,” he says, “whatever you're doing is going to get shot apart.” Corner Office Every Sunday, Adam Bryant talks with top executives about the challenges of leading and managing. In his new book,  " The Corner Office " (Times Books), he analyzes the broader lessons that emerge from his interviews with more than 70  leaders.  Excerpt » More ‘Corner Office’ Columns » Subscribe to Corner Office via RSS » Add to Portfolio Exelon Corp   Go to your Portfolio »
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Q.  Talk about some important leadership insights you’ve gained through the years.  A.  We can talk about how people follow directions. Heading a large company, I could  probably decree a dress code in great precision. And while it would cause riot and  insurrection, most employees would in fact obey. But on the other hand, you tell your  employees you want to make the company greener while keeping your focus keenly on the  bottom line — that’s all too amorphous. They think you only mean one or only mean the  other. It turns out that you can give orders far more easily if they’re very detailed and  precise. But telling people that this direction is really important takes a whole lot of work to  get people to follow it and implement it. And so I’ve learned the importance of conveying a  clear direction and the need to reinforce it, day in and day out, in what you do, whom you  promote, whom you give bonuses to, what’s rewarded.  Communication is one of the most difficult things. In my first C.E.O. job, a young woman  who worked for me walked in one day and said, “Do you know that the gossip in the office is  that the way for a woman to get ahead is to wear frilly spring dresses?”  And I just looked at her and asked, “Where did this come from?”  She said: “Well, you said, ‘pretty dress’ to four women who happened to be dressed that way.  And so now it’s considered policy.”  I said: “Well, it’s the furthest thing in the world from policy. I was just trying to be pleasant in  the elevator.”  People hang on a leader’s every word on what seems like trivia and can resist like badgers  your words when you’re really trying to say something you think is important. 
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course CSR 309 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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6 26 11 A Sitting Duck Can never catch a turkey -...

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