A Big Shift in Thinking

My item to share this month is Hubert Joly’s new book: The Heart of BusinessJoly led the Best Buy turnaround from 2012 to 2020, one of the most dramatic and successful in modern times.

The book offers a new paradigm for leaders: business serves a larger purpose than just a financial return to shareholders. Joly demonstrates how a larger focus that includes employees, vendors, customers, and the community yields better and longer-lasting results than a narrow focus on the numbers and short-term results. His philosophy is based on 30+ years of successfully leading big companies during very tough times.
The Best Buy resurgence came from radically different priorities: pursue a noble purpose, put people at the center of the business, create an environment where every employee can blossom, and treat profit as an outcome, not the goal. Joly is very specific about “noble purpose.” It’s the intersection of what you love to do, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.
Not surprisingly, this concept of business leadership is a strong affirmation of the principles of EOS®, played out in a Fortune 100 company. The Best Buy story is replete with EOS big ideas (e.g., trust, vulnerability, accountability, values) as well as daily business practices (e.g., quarterly conversations, running teams, making decisions).
The Heart of Business is an exciting and important read. Throughout the book, Joly shares great stories, lessons, and practical advice. It’s my Christmas present to the leaders of all my clients. I encourage you to buy two: one for yourself and one for a colleague or mentee.

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