F. G. (Buck) Rodgers: "Mr. IBM"
A Realistic Perspective in a Distributed, Decentralized, Decision Making Organization
"We live in a changing world and the future cannot be predicted with certainty. That's an obvious statement, but how we deal with change and the future is not so obvious.
"To the fearful, change is threatening. They know that things will somehow get worse. The hopeful have faith that change will make things better. But to those special people who love a challenge and are "light on their feet," change is stimulating and exciting. They are the people who can make a difference. They can make a company.
"The people who make things happen are in demand and should be guarded jealously. Those who watch things happen and those who aren't sure what's happening are left behind."
Buck Rodgers, The IBM Way
Louis V. (Lou) Gerstner
An Myopic Perspective in a Centralized, Controlling, Hierarchical Organization
Louis V. Gerstner, Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?
This Author's Perspective and Thoughts
Put these two insights together you come up with this:
Evidently, Gerstner surrounded himself with fearful people--who saw change as threatening. So, he had to motivate them and everything depended on him to end a crisis. Buck Rodgers surrounding himself with "special people," who loved a challenge and were "light on their feet." Surrounded by these individuals, he had antennae reaching in all directions to see change coming and exploit it.
You decide which of these executives created a work environment that was stimulating and exciting.
Which executive would you want to work for?
Peter E. Greulich
Pete has been studying IBM and early American corporate history since his retirement in 2011. These are his thoughts and musings, and of those whose biographies he has read with links to articles and book reviews on this website.