Peter Drucker's Guide to Thinking and Doing
Great strategists are willing to invest in the future. They’re patient, they’re willing to make harder calls.
A.G. Lafley is Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Procter & Gamble. He has authored numerous Harvard Business Review articles and is co-author, with Ram Charan, of The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation (2008). His latest book is Playing to Win (2013), co-authored with and Roger Martin.
I’m a big believer that managers have two fundamental jobs. They have a thinking job called strategy and they have a doing job called leadership. And I did a piece in tribute to Peter Drucker a few years ago about what is the unique role of the CEO. But what I wrote about was really what’s the unique role of the manager.
The principle role of the manager is to make three really big strategic decisions. The first one is What businesses am I going to choose to play in? Which consumers am I going to choose to serve? And the corollary is Which businesses am I not gonna be in and which consumers am I not going to serve? And then here’s the other big one. How much am I going to take from the present and how much am I going to invest in the future?
In our view - Roger’s view and mine - great strategists are willing to invest in the future. They’re patient, they’re willing to make harder calls. They’re willing to make tougher choices and they’re willing to wait. They’re willing to wait to get their brand, their product or service offering matched up with the right consumer who, in the end, becomes a real advocate and a real ambassador and a real promoter of the brand, not just a user of the brand.
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