Last week, Fortune magazine featured five prominent CEOs and their views on new-millennium leadership. The five leaders 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 corporate leadership today can help you find great investments. Today, we're looking at Anne Mulcahy, CEO of Xerox
"The big companies and the big brands [don't] necessarily have the assumed power they thought they had. Besides, the real power isn't in scale; it's in alignment. And that's really hard for big companies to achieve."
Anne is talking about a powerful advantage that's available to small companies in today's marketplace. It's the flexibility to adapt to a changing marketplace, but it's also the ability to align operations with one's core competency and do only what one does best.
Once a company's core product reaches market saturation, as is arguably the case for Inside Value recommendation Coca-Cola
It's hard for a company to stay focused on its real strengths at that point, and that's one reason successful niche operations within large corporations can be better off going it alone. Skyrocketing spinoffs such as Chipotle
Or you could go the other way and refocus your business by divesting your company of noncore operations. That's how Middleby
Focusing on your biggest strengths, to the exclusion of everything else, can lead to astonishing returns on investment. Tune in tomorrow for another new-school management approach, this time from Art Levinson of Genentech
Further Foolish reading:
- John Chambers of Cisco is another new-wave manager.
- Tom Gardner says, "Focus! Focus! Focus!"
- One Fool is scouting the latest IPOs for you.
- Foolish colleague Chuck Saletta takes a look at great spinoffs.
The thing about doggedly focused companies is that they are often small -- and on their way to becoming big. Tom Gardner's motley gang at the Motley Fool Hidden Gems newsletter service is standing by to help you find those opportunities before it's too late. Try a 30-day trial subscription to see whether that approach is right for you.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns stock in Coca-Cola, and he also drinks a lot of it, but he holds no position in any other company discussed here. Anders probably needs to have his back realigned. Foolish disclosure isn't just smart; it's the law around here.