Meg Whitman’s Leadership Profile
Meg Whitman is a top business executive in America. Currently, she is the chairwoman of HP Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Whitman is a native of Long Island in New Yolk. She is a graduate of New Jersey, Princeton University, and Harvard Business School. Previously Whitman served as an executive officer in The Walt Disney Company, where she held the position of the Vice President of Strategic Planning in the 1980s. She also once served as an executive officer of Hasbro, DreamWorks, and Procter & Gamble. She also served as a Chief Executive Officer of eBay for ten years that ended in 2008.
In her tenure as the eBay CEO, she led it to its expansion from $4 million annual earnings and thirty employees to $8 billion annual revenue and 15000 employees. Her success is highly recognized, for instance in 2014, Whitman was named 20th among the top 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes. Besides, in the year 2008, The New Yolk Times cited Whitman to be among the potential women to become America’s first woman president. She has also been active in politics as exhibited by her announcement in 2009 for candidacy for Governor of California. She became the third woman for more than 20years to run for governance. She won the Republican primary ticket in 2010. She is ranked the 4th wealthiest woman in California State having a net worth of $1.3 billion by 2010. Despite losing to Jerry Brown in the 2010 elections, Whitman explicitly showed her potentials and ability to lead (Tracy 46).
It’s hard for one to see the ferociousness of Meg Whitman’s personality at their first glimpse. However, Whitman portrays a courageous leadership style in her leadership position. She is a confident woman who is secure in her knowledge that enables her to offer good leadership in HP. Whitman is never afraid of speaking her mind even if it’s against the flow of common thinking. For example, the home market the HP Inc. competes with other established companies such as Apple and Microsoft. Most individuals in the society consider the future of computing devices such as smartphones. However, Whitman in her leadership style does not discount the essence for quality devices to drive the technological market. She instead positioned HP in such a way that it takes advantage of the already established traditional PC market. Some individuals could criticize such a decision as they perceive traditional computers to be outdated devices. However, evidence indicates that Whitman is right as HP continues to perform well as portrayed by its earnings (Tracy 12).
A leader should be ready and willing to stand apart from other people. Normally group thinking is a good issue but can easily lead to a mob mentality that can limit the development of a company or team. For one to truly develop as an outstanding leader, they must step sideways and stand out from a crowd. Whitman has stood out with her own views neglecting majority’s thinking. As a result, HP is performing well in the market proofing that Whitman’s leadership style works perfectly. However, leaders should not work contrary to the crowd with intent of looking different. Instead, they should consider all the circumstances to ascertain if stepping aside from the majority’s views could make sense. Referring to Whitman’s leadership, it was no sense for HP to compete with smartphones and tablets. However, it made sense to keep in line with the company’s culture and serve a large number of customers that she considered underserved in the market.
In her leadership style, it’s evident that confidence is a critical element of success. To develop and nurture one’s leadership skills, the main aspect to learn from Whitman’s leadership is to have confidence. If an individual lacks confidence in whatever endeavor they engage in, nobody will decide to follow them. Therefore, in leadership, there is a need for one to hold the confidence that what they do is correct and prove that it’s right. Hence, people will find a reason for out of a crowd and be following them. By so doing, good ideas will be reflected in various organizations thereby increasing the firm’s performance as the case of Whitman in HP.
Whitman as a leader is also considered the aspect of departmentalization to achieve a satisfactory customer service. In her tenure at HP, Whitman opted to split Hewlett-Packard into HP Enterprise and HP Inc. HP Enterprise will be concerned with customer service strain of the current business i.e. helping big business clients as well as solving computer problems. On the other hand, HP Inc. focuses on the manufacturing part of the organization whereby it will develop PCs and printers for consumers. Whitman’s decision was for the better of the institution. In a normal setting, most executives will not propose for splitting of the organization they are in charge. They will tend to consider their own interests as opposed to the company’s interests. Therefore, leaders should first fulfill the interests of their organizations as opposed to their personal interests.
Whiteman in her business strategies keeps her target in mind as she considers the views of other individuals. As far as Whitman’s leadership is concerned, customers are very important aspects of an organization. She always believes that there is a need for organizations to be able to identify the wants of their customers and be committed to offering them the best customer care. Leaders should consider the customer’s and other stakeholders’ demands and act appropriately. Creating a good working environment and relationship among the involved stakeholders is a great strategy for leaders. Besides, as a good leader, one should know how to handle other people. At first, Whitman faced a lot of challenges in getting people adapt to changes that she introduced in HP. She evaluated, assessed, and did the right thing by motivating them. As a result, the company is performing fairly (“Interesting Article on HP CEO, Meg Whitman, and Her Unique Leadership Style”).
Upon considering Whitman’s leadership, it’s evident that she is supportive, participative, as well as a knowledgeable leader. She is a strong believer of inspiring and motivating group members thereby portraying how supportive she is. Moreover, she trusts and respects her employees thereby creating a good relationship among employees. She also inspires employees instead of forcing them to do their duties thereby making her a transformational leader. She is a perfect example for other employees as she encourages them to carry out their responsibilities.
Whiteman is a transformational leader with best qualities of a good leader. In her leadership, she has motivated her subordinates thereby improving the performance of HP. Therefore, leaders should closely consider Whitman’s qualities in executing their responsibilities as leaders. They should be supportive, knowledgeable, and participative in their leadership styles. Whiteman’s leadership qualities are clearly indicated by the performance of Hp.
“Interesting Article on HP CEO, Meg Whitman, and Her Unique Leadership Style | Leading with Honor® – Leadership Lessons Learned.” Leading with Honor® – Leadership Lessons Learned. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.
Tracy, Brian. Leadership. New York: American Management Assn., 2014. Print.