Last week, Fortune magazine featured five prominent CEOs and their views on new-millennium leadership. The five leaders all offer very different insights and are all quite Foolish.
So I'm running through the Fortune piece, one CEO at a time, and showing you how the finest minds in today's corporate leadership can help you find great investments. Today we're looking at Art Levinson, CEO of Genentech
"I think most drug companies would have cut the project because it wouldn't get them to number one or number two. We have a different approach. We will follow the science and do what's right for patients. [...] We didn't rule Herceptin out because it would be number three or number seven."
Art's particular motivation for pursuing Herceptin even though it would never be a market leader is rather altruistic, which I applaud as a human being, though not necessarily as an investor. But there are some solid business reasons for occasionally settling for second place, or even seventh.
Take for example Hidden Gems recommendation Otter Tail Power
The company probably won't ever make it to No. 1 in all of these fields, or in any of them, but that's beside the point. Otter Tail isn't dependent on blockbuster performances from any of its operational units, and it's largely immune to downturns in any particular market. It's a philosophy of "slow and steady wins the race," and a decent impersonation of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
Some markets are simply so big that you'd be overjoyed to make it to third place, or even the top 10. You won't see Honda
You don't always have to go for the big win to give great returns to your investors. Tune in tomorrow for another new-school management approach, courtesy of Coca-Cola's
Further Foolish reading:
- Other new-wave managers include John Chambers of Cisco ...
- ... and Anne Mulcahy of Xerox.
- There's room for a couple of satellite radio outfits, right?
- And Otter Tail is far from the only diversity play out there.
If you're not going for the gold every time, chances are that the market will ignore your company. Tom Gardner's motley gang at the Motley Fool Hidden Gems newsletter service is standing by to help you dig these undercover greats before they break on through to the other side. Try a 30-day trial subscription to see whether their approach is right for you.
Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund has never seen a live otter outside of the zoo, and has never been to Otter Tail County, Minne. He does own stock in Coca-Cola; our Fool rules have a prescription for full disclosure, you see. For the full scoop, check out Anders' holdings here .