Procter & Gamble: The Common Mistakes of a Leader

The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for the next year. Find out which stock it is in the brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Brendan Byrnes: Wow. That's one example of things that leaders do right. How about taking a look at the other end of the spectrum? What's a common mistake that you think leaders make when looking at strategy?

Roger Martin: I think a lot of leaders think of it as a plan. It's just a description of a bunch of things that you're going to do, and often that's just a compilation of what all your direct reports say they want to do, rather than saying, "We have to do some things that position us to win, and we don't do other things."

Another thing is just thinking strategy is an aspiration statement, a vision statement. "We're going to be the best in our industry. We're going to be fantastic."

That's nice, but unless you have a Where to Play, How to Win that makes that possible, makes that a reality ... it doesn't matter that you have high aspirations if you're not doing anything to make that come true. I'd say those are errors.

Another one is the Where question; the second question, the Where to Play. I find that often companies and executives almost treat it as it's ordained by the heavens that "We're playing here now, so that's where you play and everybody else in our industry plays there."

If we would have done that with Olay, we would have stayed with the 50+ segment. Instead, we chose this brand new Where that ended up being incredibly, incredibly fruitful for us.

I often describe it as, if you assume your Where to Play is a given, you're trying to make strategy with one hand tied behind your back. You should operate both hands in order to develop a winning strategy.


To watch the full interview with Roger Martin, click here.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2291266, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/29/2016 10:07:23 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 51 minutes ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,143.45 -195.79 -1.07%
S&P 500 2,151.13 -20.24 -0.93%
NASD 5,269.15 -49.39 -0.93%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes