Carly Fiorina

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Leadership, Compaq Pages: 5 (1856 words) Published: April 15, 2011
Factors contributing to Carly Fiorina’s meteoric rise:
Carly Fiorina lead a Fortune 20 company and was actually the first woman to do this. This ranking was based on the importance of a woman’s work in the global environment, her influence in the company, arc of her career and her influence on mass culture and society. Quickly rising through the ranks of AT&T and Lucent Technologies, Carly Fiorina became one of the most powerful businesswomen in the United States. She was the group president of Global Service Provider business at Lucent Technologies Inc and was Mr Rich McGinn’s choice to be the executive vice president of corporate operations of the company. She had excellent sales skills and an ability to build consensus. She would take a lot of risks. Carly Fiorina was known for being “comfortable in uncomfortable situations”. (Ancona et. al.14-28) She used the opportunity in AT & T and jumped to the Network Systems group and did amazingly well there. This was all because she was able to recognize the telephone equipment manufacturing business unit’s potential for a growth in the markets. She added a personal touch that inspired intense loyalty among followers. She would praise the employees who achieved big contracts publicly by giving flowers and balloons. This was not confined to business; she even helped sick family members of the Lucent Technologies employees get emotional support, medical advice and doctors on time. (Ancona et. al. 14-28) She had a savvy approach to customers and there were instances when she achieved daring goals in a time span less than the targeted ones (Ancona et. al. 14-28). In order to initiate a transformation in HP, someone was required. (Ancona et. al. 14-29) So the executive-search committee established a set of criteria and she fulfilled four of them already which included an ability to formulate and communicate broad strategies, a deep knowledge of operations, a talent for creating a sense of urgency around change, ability to craft a compelling vision of HP’s roles in the Internet economy, then communicate that vision throughout the organization. She took over as the CEO of Hewlett Packard in 1999. She had a strong ally in HP board member Richard Hackborn. Both believed that HP had to be reinvented. He fought hard for her appointment. To HP, she brought leadership and savvy marketing and sales techniques. Her understanding that what the customers ask for is not always the same as what they need was one of her strengths. When she entered HP, she knew that a lot of changes were required in the company. She had a vision and was not afraid of telling it to the world. She had a self-confidence that she only has the power and responsibility to do what she wanted with her life (Ancona et. al. 14-27) and also knew the importance of facing up to your own feelings and stating what is on your mind. (Ancona et. al. 14-27) She stayed away from the HP way and brought in a different leadership style and charisma. Her meteoric rise was also caused because of marketing and customer-relations savvy, her personal charisma which included features such as ability to laugh easily, direct gaze and her willingness to speak her mind and most importantly, her talent for making this happen quickly. (Ancona, Kochan, Scully, Van Maanen, Westney 14-26) According to Fiorina, the quicker and clearer the truth about what needs to be done is realized and what is acceptable performance is clearly defined, the more effective a leader you would be. (Ancona et. al. 14-27)This, she learnt from her parents and she believed that she gained strength from them. She believed in making changes at a real fast pace and according to the changes in the market. She made a strong emphasis on the creative use of communication. “Effective leadership requires an understanding that you don’t own people, that you can’t control people. They must want to, they must choose to be in the company of others, oriented towards a particular mission....
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