John Allison, Consistent Philosophy of Life, Effective Manager of Business, and Important Contributor to Society. Joshua C. Neff
MBAD 503 – Management in Action
This paper focuses John Allison’s management style, what he finds to be the essential characteristics of a leader, and how he employs ethics and principles in this everyday life, in business, and as an educational leader. He is the former CEO of BB&T and current leader of the CATO Institute. There is little distinction between Allison’s “leadership style” and his philosophy. His philosophy can be directly applied to any situation, challenge, or circumstance. Allison is purpose driven and mission oriented, and he applies a set of ten principles to achieve his mission. This paper will also look at how Allison defines a vision, mission, values and principles. Each of the ten principles are examined, and finally, the paper will look at some of the detractors of Allison’s philosophy.
John Allison, Consistent Philosophy of Life, Effective Manager of Business, and Important Contributor to Society. John Allison lives by a clear philosophy that permeates every aspect of his life. He built a multi-billion dollar bank (BB&T) on it, and managed to stay away from toxic investments that led to the downfall of many banks because of it. He is now taking this highly moral, completely integrated, and fully comprehensive philosophy to the rest of society by donating time and money to universities by explaining the morality of capitalism and rational thought. Most recently, he was appointed to lead the Cato Institute, a Libertarian think-tank. An effective manager instills purpose in themselves and their employees and lives by a set of values or principles that manifests purpose into reality. The purpose needs to be clear and the principles must be interconnected and consistent. Failure on one principle is failure on all principles; and thus, the vision, mission, and goals of an organization are jeopardized. This concept is consistent with six competencies detailed in Hellriegel, Jacosn, and Slocum’s text book, Managing, A Competency-Based Approach. For example, an organization determines that it must outsource a piece of their production (Strategic Action). Therefore, executive management must effectively work with operations professionals (Teamwork), who must develop and action plan (Planning & Administration) and Communicate that plan to line managers. It is imperative that executive management carefully considered the cultural drivers of the country that they are entering (Multi-Cultural). Finally, whether this strategy is effective hinges upon whether all levels of employees have good Self-Management skills. Failure on any part of these competencies will lead to failure on the whole. Hellreigel’s six competencies pass John Allison’s integration test; however, John’s principles remove the organizational lens of the six competencies to make them more basic and universal. This paper looks at John Allison’s management style and how it is driven by his vision, mission, and principles. Success with these principles will lead to the success of the six competencies. Finally, this paper will spend some time with the detractors and misunderstandings of John’s philosophy. John Allison’s Management Style
It is impossible to explain John Allison’s management style without getting into the details of his basic philosophy first. The Richard Craver of the Winston-Salem Journal interviewed Allison in July 2010, and he noted that, “the key lesson of Allison's success is that if you get the basics right, the details will follow, and you will run your business right. If you get the basics wrong, you'll eventually make a fatal mistake in the details” (Craver 2011). Allison’s basics are a purpose driven life and organization that is achieved through principles. This philosophy is detailed in a 30 page employee handbook that all...
References: Allison, John (7/21/11), “Principled Leadership” Lecture at Wake Forest University Schools of Business. http://vimeo.com/27183721
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