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Bill George
Bill George is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He is the author of three best-selling books Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets of Creating Lasting Value (Jossey-Bass, 2003), True North, Discover Your Authentic Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2007), and Finding Your True North, A Personal Guide (Jossey-Bass, 2008).

Mr. George is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic. He joined Medtronic in 1989 as President and Chief Operating Officer, was Chief Executive Officer from 1991-2001, and Chairman of the Board from 1996 to 2002. Earlier in his career, he was an executive with Honeywell and Litton Industries and served in the U.S. Department of Defense.

Mr. George currently serves as a director of ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs, and also recently served on the board of Novartis and Target Corporation. He is also currently a trustee of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, World Economic Forum USA and the Guthrie Theater. He has served as chair of the board chair of Allina Health System, Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, United Way of the Greater Twin Cities, and Advamed.

He has been named one of “Top 25 Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years” by PBS; “Executive of the Year-2001″ by the Academy of Management; and “Director of the Year-2001-02″ by the National Association of Corporate Directors. Mr. George has made frequent appearances on television and radio, including: The Charlie Rose Show, The Today Show, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, NOW, CNBC, Bloomberg News, and NPR. His articles have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and numerous other publications.

Mr. George received his BSIE with high honors from Georgia Tech, his MBA with high distinction from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar, and honorary PhDs from Georgia Tech and Bryant University. During 2002-03 he was professor at IMD International and Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, and executive-in-residence at Yale School of Management.

Connect with Bill on his website is and Facebook Page.

Entries by Bill George

Coping With Crucibles

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 11:46 AM

"Suffering is universal: You turn it around so that it becomes a creative, positive force," (Terry Waite).

Psychologist Abraham Maslow found that tragedy and trauma are the most important human learning experiences. Crucibles enable people to learn life is uncertain, and that they have limited control over events.

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Why Leaders Lose Their Way

(0) Comments | Posted August 24, 2015 | 7:56 AM

Have you ever felt you were losing your way? Cut adrift on a raging sea?

I know I have. When I was reaching the top of Honeywell, I was working 24/7. Having succeeded in turning around a series of troubled businesses, I was tasked with even more turnarounds. On the...

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For Leadership, Do You Need a Ladder or Compass?

(5) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 9:37 AM

On your leadership journey, should you take a ladder or a compass?

The answer depends on whether you are trying to build a career or have a fulfilling life. As David Brooks writes in The Road to Character, "Are you pursuing resume values or eulogy values?"

When I graduated from...

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Introducing: Discover Your True North

(1) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 10:21 AM

Are you all you want to be? Do you have a path to fulfilling your dreams?

You can do so just by being yourself, and developing the gifts already inside you. Can you recall a time when you felt intensely alive? A moment when you could say with confidence,...

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The Millennials: Ready To Lead Now

(16) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 8:51 AM

Many Baby Boomers look down on Millennials as over-protected, lazy, attention-seeking young kids who haven't faced hardship.

They are dead wrong.

By 2020, Millennials -- born between 1981 and 1997 -- will make up 50 percent of the workforce. As their influence grows, we'll see a generation more...

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The Power of Mindful Leadership

(31) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 9:48 AM

From the moment you wake up, you're bombarded with distractions. Emails clog your inbox, requests pile up, and notifications flicker in the background. Within moments your attention is scattered. Given the realities of today's 24/7 world, how do great leaders slow down and focus in order to make thoughtful decisions?...

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The Phoniness of Donald Trump

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 8:13 AM

Donald Trump wants to become president. He's running a campaign based on vanity and ego, not authentic leadership, with some prejudice tossed in. You will have to look far and wide to find a public figure who is less authentic than Trump. Last Saturday he reached a new low when...

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The Triumph of Authentic Leaders

(3) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 8:14 AM

In late 2006, Alan Mulally arrived as the new CEO of Ford with a plain shirt, slacks, and a big smile. That smile quickly faded, however, when he asked to meet workers in the main factory. "I'm sorry", a colleague told him, "but Ford executives don't talk directly to factory...

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True North Leaders: Antidote To The Leadership Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 8:02 AM

"True North is your orienting point that helps you stay on track as a leader. It is derived from your most deeply held beliefs, your values, and the principles you lead by." -- Introduction to Discover Your True North

Today, I am launching this new weekly column, "True North Leaders,"...

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Soccer's FIFA Is Morally Bankrupt -- Corporations Should Suspend Sponsorships Until Blatter Resigns

(10) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 11:27 AM

The fish rots from the head, and this is undoubtedly the case with FIFA and its leader, Sepp Blatter.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch's indictment of 14 senior FIFA officials confirms what we all knew. FIFA is a deeply corrupt organization. Lynch, who collaborated with the police in Switzerland...

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The DuPont Proxy Contest Is a Battle for the Soul of American Capitalism

(10) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 9:44 AM

The subtitle in Saturday's New York Times op-ed by Joe Nocera jumped off the page, "Why shareholder value has become a disaster for the country." Nocera was writing about the seminal proxy fight that will be settled on Wednesday, May 13, at DuPont's annual meeting.

On one...

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Speaking Out Against Discrimination

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 5:41 PM

Laws being passed this past week by Indiana and Arkansas to make discrimination legal on basis of religious freedom have stirred up a hornet's nest of protests across the country, causing the Republican governors of these two states to ask that the legislation be modified.

While LGBT obviously oppose these...

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The Remarkable Legacy of Warren Bennis

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 10:57 AM

With the passing of Warren Bennis this past Thursday, a giant oak has fallen with an impact felt throughout the world. Small in physical stature, Warren was a giant in his intellect, his heart, and his spirit. Like the oak, Warren had deep roots that carried his wisdom and nourished...

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The Remarkable Legacy of Warren Bennis

(4) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 10:53 AM

With the passing of Warren Bennis this past Thursday, a giant oak has fallen with an impact felt throughout the world. Small in physical stature, Warren was a giant in his intellect, his heart, and his spirit. Like the oak, Warren had deep roots that carried his wisdom and nourished...

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5 Lessons Business Leaders Can Learn From German Soccer

(10) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 4:44 PM

On Sunday, Germany became the champion of the soccer world, winning the World Cup for the fourth time, defeating a rugged Argentina team with Lionel Messi as its star. Germany's surge through the tournament -- undefeated in seven games with only a tie with Ghana marring its record -- wasn't...

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Thanks to Jürgen Klinsmann, US Soccer Is America's Team

(7) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 9:25 AM

Credit German-born Jürgen Klinsmann for turning U.S. Soccer into America's Team.

While the Australians have their national rugby team and the Brazilians, Spanish and Germans have their national soccer teams, Americans have only had professional sports teams representing their cities. No wonder Europeans are so passionate about their national teams...

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Medtronic Deal Benefits All Its Stakeholders

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 10:26 AM

The headline in the Op-Ed in Sunday's Minneapolis Star-Tribune blared, "It's shareholders over stakeholders for Medtronic." Nothing could be further from the truth.

Medtronic's acquisition benefits all of its stakeholders: its customers, employees, shareholders, communities and society as a whole. I spoke at length with Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak...

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GM's Barra Leads From the Front

(2) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 9:37 AM

Put yourself in Mary Barra's shoes: After 33 years with the company, you have been CEO of General Motors (GM) for just two weeks -- the first operating executive in 30 years to be CEO and the first female. You are determined to transform the moribund GM culture that led...

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Target's Leaders Follow the Playbook For Handling Crisis Well

(3) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 1:10 PM

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel and his leadership team are experiencing every company's worst nightmare. As a retailer, the loss of private customer data hurts consumer trust. The timing of the crisis--the biggest shopping month of the year--was doubly unfortunate.

Yet, in response, Steinhafel and his team seem to be...

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Your #1 2014 New Year's Resolution? Resolve to Live More Mindfully

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 9:08 AM

As 2014 approaches, many of us are looking for ways to live more mindfully. Many of us want to be more mindful, but few of us know how. Below I have compiled a sampling of eight exceptional books on mindful living that will help you become a better leader and...

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