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Saving big blue: Leadership lessons and turnaround tactics of IBM's Lou Gerstner. The Wal-Mart Decade: How a New Generation of Leaders Turned Sam Walton's Legacy Into the World's 1 Company. McGraw-Hill School Education Group, 1999. Portfolio (Hardcover), 2003. Love, happiness, and America's schools: The role of educational leadership in the 21st century. Phi Delta Kappan 82 (10), 790-794, 2001. Measuring Business Excellence.

Readers of this text will glean valuable lessons that can be applied to other businesses, especially those large companies that face current or near-future difficulties. It details strategies that Gerstner employed as well as his thoughts. No current Talk conversations about this book.

Many were shocked when IBM asked Lou Gerstner, then CEO of RJR Nabisco to take the helm of floundering IBM in the early . How did he turn around the largest computer company in the world with so many limitations?

Many were shocked when IBM asked Lou Gerstner, then CEO of RJR Nabisco to take the helm of floundering IBM in the early 1990s. A CEO who had no knowledge of computer machines, programming, software and importantly, who had no knowledge of IBM’s potential customer segments. Gerstner’s experience was also largely in selling to consumers, not in the sales which IBM required. How did he turn around the largest computer company in the world with so many limitations? What lessons could we learn? Let’s begin with a brief history

book by Robert Slater. From the early 1950s into the late '80s, IBM was the computer industry. Not only that, IBM was, to many, industry itself.

book by Robert Slater. excellent example of leadership vs corporate complacency. com User, October 26, 1999. As a former employee of both IBM and AT & T, I lived through years of lack of leadership, innovation and bad management decisions. Lou Gerstner demonstrated that a few common sense principles (listen, customers, focus) go a long way in building a business.

Books like Built to Last by James Collins and Jerry Porras and The Living Company by Arie de Geus have powerfully . Mr. Gerstner fares very well in this book. It does lack a sense of the man behind the executive persona - Mr. Gerstner did not cooperate with the author.

Books like Built to Last by James Collins and Jerry Porras and The Living Company by Arie de Geus have powerfully explored the characteristics of corporate longevity. Intelligently, simply and forcefully, he pricked the bubble of arrogance.

IBM Redux by Doug Garr and Saving Big Blue by Robert Slater both do a yeoman's job of. .Two tales of IBM's fearsome leader and Big Blue's tumultuous turnaround.

IBM Redux by Doug Garr and Saving Big Blue by Robert Slater both do a yeoman's job of looking behind the near-messianic image of the former travel, food and tobacco executive spun by the IBM PR machine. Both books show that Gerstner is clearly a dedicated, fanatically hard worker, but the scenes of his mercurial temper related by Garr (and the way he allegedly nurses a vendetta) also raise questions about whether his personal actions have adversely affected the company.

If Louis V. Gerstner Gerstner Louis V. Gerstner Jr. 's book Who . Gerstner will retire from IBM in January. The answers to the question of how Gerstner saved IBM, the major business decisions, are known.

Gerstner will retire from IBM in January. Elephants is the story of IBM's unlikely turnaround, told in first person by Gerstner. The author makes a point of saying upfront that he wrote the book without the aid of a ghostwriter. The book is interesting, even for longtime IBM followers, because it is Gerstner's own story.

Comments: (7)
Marilace
Let's see. Gerstner comes to IBM during a recessionary period when IBM is making no money. The recession passes and IBM starts making money again. Is Lou in any way responsible for the recession ending ? Nope. What scary wonderful thing has he done to increase IBM's business ? Nada. How has the stock price increased then ? By borrowing money and using it to buy back stock at inflated prices. What kind of business leader resorts to stock buy backs instead of growing market share ? One who has no technical background or understanding of what market he is in. Lou is nothing more than a finacial trickster with a lot of good advisors hiding the fact he hasn't a clue about the high tech market IBM is in. IBM will be in much worse shape when the next recession hits as the money that could have been used to develop new markets and new research programs has bee squandered on stock buy backs and option programs for high level executives. The 1999 reduction in pension benefits will be seen as the turning point in Lou's leadership at IBM. It's all downhill for IBM from here with the poor morale Lou has caused with his "I've got mine, you get yours" attitude.
Mash
Listen, my children, and you shall hear the incredible saga of how IBM nearly died and was revived by Lou Gerstner. Robert Slater tells the tale of IBM's turnaround after it nearly sank under the weight of institutionalized arrogance and failure to heed advancements in the industry it had dominated. Gerstner broke company tradition, fired employees who believed they had a sinecure, slashed a decade-old bureaucracy, and switched IBM's focus from products to solutions. This action portrait shows a man smart enough and tough enough to rebuild an empire. The book's lessons are artfully woven into the fabric of Gerstner's personal story and IBM's corporate history. We [...] recommend this book to any high level executive whose organization needs a revolution or to any businessperson who wants a juicy reminder of what it takes to win the war of independence.
Beranyle
So Gerstner single-handedly saved IBM, did he? No credit to the thousands of IBM'ers who worked long hours and took care of IBM's customers. Gerstner simply did what he did at RJR and American Express - he was the hatchet man who came in and slashed. That takes no brilliance, merely lack of ethics. But the house of cards he has built will come crashing down soon after he leaves. Already the sound of union activities and lawsuits are creeping up on him. The great pension heist of 1999 will be his un-doing.
Mbon
For those outside of IBM, this is a good, first book on the company's troubles prior to Gerstner and the rebound after his arrival. IBM personnel may not find much new insight and wished for more detail about the company's/Gerstner's decisions, i.e. sale of Network Services to AT&T, and his lieutenants, both those from within and those that came in with Gerstner. The company still has a way to go to grow revenue but there are some terrific opportunities out there that IBM cannot afford to miss, i.e. E-Business.
Vetalol
This is a very good book that clearly explains what happened at IBM and Lou G's key role. Yes, despite the negative comments on the book which are aimed at Lou for changing the pension plan to benefit ALL IBMers (not just old ones) - this is a good book.
The bitter IBMers should get a grip. Nobody promised you ANYTHING. Blaming Lou because he did the RIGHT thing in changing to a cash basis is useless. Get on with your life and recognize that Lou is a genius.
Highly recommended.
Biaemi
Just got this book. It gives a great overview of how the IBM miracle happened. I wish more focus would have been on Gerstner and his leaders within IBM and how they implemented his strategy. Also recommend a book I just got on leadership (it applies to everyday leadership and turnarounds) that is simply super--it's at Amazon: "The Leader's Guide: 15 Essential Skills."
Murn
This is an important book to see how Lou Saved Big Blue for a few years by selling everything not nailed down. But the real book will be written when there is nothing left that he can sell... no land, no employee benefits, just Global Services. Wait for the next book to get the real story.
Too wishy washy for me. Seemed more like a PR release. Bob Slater should write for Microsoft's PR department. Hardly objective, not that I disagree with how Lou Gerstner turned around the company. The man is my hero. Its too touchy-feely, Leave it to Beaverish.