Leadership: Getting on Board - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Leadership: Getting on Board
For new leaders, the clock starts ticking before the job begins. Here's how to set yourself up for success.


Pharmaceutical Executive


W. James McNerney Jr., former CEO of 3M, where his early win included a rise in the stock of 34 percent, and current head of Boeing, where he brought the stock up 30 percent, was asked once what he observed about those who grow under his leadership and those who don't, and whether he can predict who they'll be.

He said: "No, you can't always tell in advance. It generally gets down to a very personal level—openness to change, courage to change, hard work, teamwork. What I do is figure out how to unlock that in people, because most people have that inside them. But they [often] get trapped in a bureaucratic environment where they've been beaten about the head and shoulders. That makes their job narrower and narrower, so they're no longer connected to the company's mission—they're a cog in some manager's machine."

Put—and keep—your A-plus passionate team in place and you'll be on board for quick and sustaining wins.

Sander A. Flaum is managing partner of Flaum Partners. He can be reached at


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