What exactly is Charisma_ It's real. It matters. And it can be dangerous

martinez met with almost all applicants who visited

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Unformatted text preview: an evangelist. I needed featur es.blog s.for tune.cnn.com/2012/06/10/what- exactly- is- char isma- its- r eal- it- matter s- and- it- can- be- dang er ous- for tune- classic- 1996/ 3/5 2/12/13 What exactly is Char isma? It' s r eal. It matter s. And it can be dang er ous. ( For tune Classic 1996) - For tune Featur es disciples. I really was enrolling people in a mission." Martinez met with almost all applicants who visited headquarters for jobs at the level of vice president or higher. "I started by explaining why I took the job," he says. T hen he told them: "T his is one of the greatest adventures in business history. Retailers don't turn around. A major retailer never has. T here's no model for what we're gonna do. It's very risky. You have to be courageous, filled with self-confidence. If we do it, we'll be wealthier, yes. But more than that, we'll have incredible psychic gratification. How can you not do it?" Martinez became CEO last August. He has assembled one of the best teams in retailing. Sears is gaining market share and is solidly profitable again. Says senior executive VP of marketing John Costello, formerly president of Nielsen Marketing Research USA: "I had no interest in switching jobs. Arthur changed my mind. He convinced me that Sears could be transformed, that I'd have a major impact." DEFY T HE ST AT US QUO. Charismatics are rebels who fight convention. T hey may seem idiosyncratic, but their oddball image augments their charisma. Defiance isn't easy for an insider. So Orit Gadiesh's success is particularly surprising. She is a high-decibel firecracker chairing one of the most secretive firms (Bain & Co.) in one of the lowest-key industries (management consulting) in an oldline city (Boston). Meeting Gadiesh, you first notice her skirt; it starts about eight inches above her knee. T hen her hair; viewed from the side and back, it's magenta. T hen her long red fingernails. She is complex, intense, driven, painfully direct, sometimes ribald, and a lot of fun. Bain was rebounding from dire financial problems when the partners elected her chairman in 1993. Largely because of her inspiring leadership, observers say, Bain has expanded to 1,400 employees, from 990. Revenues are increasing 25% a year. T he "Orit mystique" is well known around Boston and the consulting industry, as is her history: how this daughter of an Israeli army commander served two years in army intelligence, enrolled in Harvard business school knowing little English, and graduated in the top 5% of her class. When Gadiesh joined Bain in 1977, straight out of Harvard, she was one of the firm's first female consultants. Founder Bill Bain recalls her job interview: "T he way she listened made my energy level go up. She asked the most thoughtful, original questions. T here was nothing boilerplate about her." Business, to Gadiesh, is not systematic. Success comes from pulling emotional levers. If you're a pinstriped stiff, she'll loosen you up--fast. "In a seriou...
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2013 for the course BUSI 405 taught by Professor Blackburn during the Spring '10 term at UNC.

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