Few executives lead corporate-transformation efforts at three separate businesses before they turn 50, let alone businesses in three very different industries. Davor Tomašković is one of them.
The CEO and president of the management board at Hrvatski Telekom (HT), Croatia’s biggest telco (and a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom), first came to wider attention in 2004, when he took the top job at the struggling Balkan retail and distribution group Tisak. After helping the company to stave off bankruptcy and helping turn it into the biggest national player in its sector, Tomašković was, in 2006, appointed CEO of TDR, a successful regional Croatian tobacco manufacturer that nevertheless faced a challenging economic and regulatory environment in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Sidebar Davor Tomašković biography
At HT, by contrast, where he became president and CEO in January 2014, Tomašković inherited a company that had been losing market share for at least five years but is now once again expanding after a radical cost-cutting and reorganization plan. In this interview (at HT’s Zagreb headquarters) with McKinsey senior partner Jurica Novak and McKinsey Publishing’s Tim Dickson, Tomašković reflects on common lessons from the three transformations, including the importance of quick results, the value of data-driven decision making, and the particular environment of emerging markets in the Balkan region.
We are sitting in a meeting with the CMO and a new marketing operations director from a large, well-established company. They had called and asked for a meeting to help kick their marketing metrics and dashboard up a notch.
While there’s no road map or recipe for coaching, there are four key tools that professional executive coaches employ to foster exceptional performance in others. If you pay attention, you will see that truly effective leaders, communicators, interviewers, coaches, parents, best friends, etc. seamlessly demonstrate these.
These are head-spinning times for those of us who think about the best ways to lead and the most effective ways to compete. What defines acceptable personal behavior (let alone behavior worth emulating) among public officials? Why would executives at so many iconic organizations — Volkswagen, Wells Fargo, FIFA — tolerate behavior so egregious that it threatens the very future of their organizations? How should innovators with a fierce sense of ambition handle the criticisms and objections that inevitably come their way and make sure that confidence does not turn into bombast?
In a world hungry for great leadership, these are just a few of the questions that too many leaders seem incapable of answering. I don’t pretend to have easy answers myself. But I do know that the best leaders I’ve studied — executives and entrepreneurs who have created enduring economic value based on sound human values — recognize and embrace the “obligation to dissent.” Put simply, you can’t be an effective leader in business, politics, or society unless you encourage those around you to speak their minds, to bring attention to hypocrisy and misbehavior, and to be as direct and strong-willed in their evaluations of you as you are in your strategies and plans for them.
During the 1970s, Chris Argyris, a business theorist at Harvard Business School (and now, at 89, a professor emeritus) began to research what happens to organizations and people, like Mr. Chang, when they find obstacles in their paths.
Professor Argyris called the most common response single loop learning — an insular mental process in which we consider possible external or technical reasons for obstacles.
Less common but vastly more effective is the cognitive approach that Professor Argyris called double-loop learning. In this mode we question every aspect of our approach, including our methodology, biases and deeply held assumptions. This more psychologically nuanced self-examination requires that we honestly challenge our beliefs and summon the courage to act on that information, which may lead to fresh ways of thinking about our lives and our goals.
In interviews we did with high achievers for a book, we expected to hear that talent, persistence, dedication and luck played crucial roles in their success. Surprisingly, however, self-awareness played an equally strong role.
The successful people we spoke with — in business, entertainment, sports and the arts — all had similar responses when faced with obstacles: they subjected themselves to fairly merciless self-examination that prompted reinvention of their goals and the methods by which they endeavored to achieve them.
More than anything else when it comes to improving our confidence, research suggests that taking action is the most important step. And yet, the idea of truly stepping outside our comfort zone— getting comfortably uncomfortable—each and every day is enough to slow most women down. It’s the kind of feeling you might experience as you …
I like to think of myself as a rational person, but I’m not one. The good news is it’s not just me — or you. We are all irrational. For a long time, researchers and economists believed that humans made logical, well-considered decisions. In recent decades, however, researchers have uncovered a wide range of mental errors that derail our thinking. Sometimes we make logical decisions, but there are many times when we make emotional, irrational, and confusing choices. Psychologists and behavioral researchers love to geek out about these different mental mistakes. There are dozens of them and they all have fancy names like “mere exposure effect” or “narrative fallacy.” But I don’t want to get bogged down in the scientific jargon today. Instead, let’s talk about the mental errors that show up most frequently in our lives and break them down in easy-to-understand language. Here are five common mental errors that sway you from making good decisions.
Burnout can be caused by one big factor or a combination of small annoyances that build up over time. It can leave you physically and mentally unable to focus on day-to-day tasks, and you certainly will struggle to focus on long-term goals.
Related: How Successful People Beat Stress
But you can take back control of your day, by taking on new challenges and finding healthy coping mechanisms for normal daily stressors. We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council for tips on how they avoid burnout.
At the end of the day, this day belonged to Integrity. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, but a validation of something positive is never a bad thing. It’s also a timely reminder of why the “unfavorable” ratings of our two major presidential candidates are continually in the stratosphere – as both candidates are widely perceived as having serious shortcomings in this regard: truthfulness issues, behavioral issues, character issues, etc.
Ideally we like our leaders to be individuals of good character and integrity, a simple enough bar that too often isn’t reached.
Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Show off your favorite photos and videos to the world, securely and privately show content to your friends and family, or blog the photos and videos you take with a cameraphone.
The demands of leadership today require a more adaptive approach; the age of seat-of-the-pants leadership is gone. Sure, you might be able to achieve some success with a haphazard approach – but you must approach your leadership with intention, flexibility, and discipline in order to succeed repeatedly and consistently for the long haul. But that doesn’t mean discarding foundational elements that have been proven to work throughout time. In fact, there are two essential traits to leadership that are unchanging. These two stalwart elements should anchor your leadership — no matter the year, no matter the challenge — as long as you commit to developing these two most essential traits, you will be in a position to thrive. Always. The 2 essential traits that must be at the heart of your leadership approach are: Competence and Character.
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