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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

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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Is Obama Backing Away From Obamacare?

(280) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 9:41 AM

The latest announcement from the White House on Thursday, December 19, seems to indicate that even President Obama is backing away from Obamacare.

At the very least, he is bobbing and weaving like an exhausted prize fighter trying to avoid a knockout punch. For the President, that punch would...

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Six Ways to Save Obamacare

(239) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 8:22 AM

Only President Obama can save Obamacare.

Obamacare is not going to be repealed -- not now and not in the future. However, there is real risk it could collapse under its own weight. If that happens, the president's credibility will collapse as well. Whether or not you support this...

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Obamacare Overpromised and Underdelivered

(822) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 10:24 AM

As the disastrous rollout of Obamacare's federal insurance exchange continues, politicians are palpitating over what went wrong.

On Tuesday Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), expressed regret for the difficulty people have receiving insurance. In typical fashion for the Obama administration, she blamed the...

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A Solution to Our 'Manufactured' Crisis

(95) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 10:39 AM

Unlike our counterparts in Southern Europe, the United States is blessed to have a fairly steady economy these days. While economic growth is not as robust as it has been in years past, it is at least solid and jobs are steadily returning in the private sector. Financial markets reflect...

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Microsoft Ballmer's Retirement Highlights Challenges of Sustaining Tech Success

(30) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 5:22 PM

Steve Ballmer's announcement today that he will retire as Microsoft's CEO after 14 years at the helm highlights the challenges high technology companies have in sustaining their success. Ballmer's tenure was marred because he permitted Microsoft's Office and Windows businesses to dominate the company. Meanwhile, opportunities in smartphones, search, mobile...

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The Tipping Point for Mindfulness

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2013 | 12:47 PM

Mindfulness practices like meditation have been in existence for thousands of years, but only now are they reaching the tipping point in the Western world. Today's pace and stress are so great that people are searching for new practices to find resilience in the midst of chaos, and mindfulness programs...

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The Tipping Point for Mindfulness

(165) Comments | Posted June 21, 2013 | 8:32 AM

Mindfulness practices like meditation have been in existence for thousands of years, but only now are they reaching the tipping point in the Western world. Today's pace and stress are so great that people are searching for new practices to find resilience in the midst of chaos, and mindfulness programs...

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Resilience Through Mindful Leadership

(28) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 12:27 PM

The movement to develop mindful leaders in business is at a tipping point, as interest from corporations, educational institutions and the media continues to grow. As Arianna Huffington recently pointed out on CNBC's Squawk Box: "The tipping point was very evident at the World Economic Forum in Davos this past...

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Innovation Is the Real Winner in Apple v. Samsung

(20) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 8:40 AM

Apple's big win over Samsung for patent violations is monumental in the tech world. It has significant implications for American innovation that go far beyond the products in question. While patents have been a hot litigation topic for years, the outcome of this case sets a precedent for...

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Another Labor Day Passes With Little Progress on Creating Jobs

(12) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 4:26 PM

Three years ago, Labor Day 2009, I appeared on Today to discuss the jobs crisis. The appearance was to promote 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis, a book released about that time which set forth principles leaders could apply to resolving significant crises.

At the time, I argued that we...

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Leaders' Character Must Take Precedence Over Their Resumes

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 5:18 PM

The tragic fall of Rajat Gupta, a man who helped so many organizations, is a vivid reminder of the frailties of human character. Convicted of insider trading, Gupta, who once headed global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, joins a lineup of failed leaders that includes ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd, investor...

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Google's Stock Split Irks Governance Experts, but Is the Right Move

(3) Comments | Posted April 19, 2012 | 11:19 AM

Google's announcement late Thursday that it would split its stock 2:1 by creating a new class of non-voting shares has governance experts up in arms. From the standpoint of sound corporate governance, I have not been in favor of dual class structures as they can serve to protect...

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Five Resolutions for Aspiring Leaders

(5) Comments | Posted December 31, 2011 | 12:07 PM

As the New Year approaches, people will be making resolutions to eat better, exercise more, get that promotion at work or spend more time with their families. While these are worthwhile goals, we have a more important challenge for young people: Think seriously about your development as a leader.


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Hope for the Holidays

(1) Comments | Posted December 27, 2011 | 11:00 AM

The recent Occupy Wall Street protests are only the latest of a series of global movements carried out by those who have grown cynical about leadership in business, government, and society.

There is reason for this cynicism. The twenty-first century has been rocked by scandals and failures of leaders in...

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