Credibility Attributed to The Wrong Man
When facing economic struggles, a company always has two choices. One, ride the downward trend and hope it corrects or two, restructure the company to fit societal norms. For IBM, the current technological market was rapidly evolving and the technology giant failed to adapt. Their neglect jeopardized their company’s image as a leader in the technological age and cornered their future success to be dependent on the internet, the then new service. IBM’s top-to-bottom reformation was idealized by CEO Lou Gerstner. Ironically, Gerstner’s responsibility in the company’s restructuring was confined to a general role envisioned by David Grossman and John Patrick. This paper analyzes Gerstner’s limited role in IBM’s reformation and attributes IBM’s success to Grossman and Patrick due to Grossman’s managerial style, Patrick’s charismatic leadership and the goals implemented through their groundbreaking ideas. A leader is defined as someone who passionately motivates his superiors and partners to change; someone who influences the thoughts and actions of other people. IBM’s CEO, Lou Gerstner played a limited role in IBM’s adoption of the internet. He did not serve as visionary or institutor, so he is best labeled as a mediator. Gerstner’s position as IBM’s CEO during reconstruction has no definable link to the internet’s success. At most, Gerstner can confidently be labeled as a tentative necessity. During reconstruction, Gerstner stated that “The last thing IBM needs right now is a vision.” Gerstner felt that a vision would place undue hardship on the reconstruction and instead focused on a general goal--“we will restructure IBM.” According to Zaleznik, author of the article, “Managers and Leaders: Are they different?” a leader needs to support his dependents while instituting innovative ideas. Gerstner’s proposal can hardly be classified as innovative, which mainly consisted of cutting expenses. Also, Gerstner can’t be...
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