Daniel Quinn Mills is the Albert J. Weatherhead, Jr. Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus. His tenure at Harvard lasted from 1976 to 2007. He consults with major corporations and governments and lectures about management, leadership, strategy, economics and geopolitics. He is an expert on the differences between Asian and Western leadership styles. An American, Mills is also a member of the Innovation Council of Malaysia, a ministry level council chaired by the Prime Minister.
Mills has been interested in early stage businesses and as a director and investor has helped develop several firms. He has been a director of a publicly listed company, chairing its audit committee for several years. A thought leader, Mills has written books on leadership, geo-politics, investments, capital markets, business strategy, network organizations, demographics, marketing, empowerment, and union relations. His most recent book is Master of Illusions: Presidential Leadership, Strategic Independence and America’s Public Culture, published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press. The book explores America’s role in the world in the aftermath of the second Iraqi War.
Widely and often quoted as well as seen in the national media, Mills has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, and been quoted in articles in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Business Week. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.
Question: In the business world, who is teaching great things?
D. Quinn Mills: Only the entrepreneurs. I don’t think any of the large companies are particularly well lead by and large in the world, there are some exceptions, but there are exceptions for short period of time normally. By and large, the growth rates of most of the great companies are limited the internal growth rates are limited to the growth rates of the economies, of the global economy. They are 3%, 4%, 5%. Actual revenue growth comes mainly from acquisitions and things of that nature. I think almost all the really significant leadership...most of what we called leadership in business today is financial manipulation of one form or other. The only really significant things I think that there is very impressive are the entrepreneurs particularly in the technology sector, because they are really changing the world.
Recorded on: 9/27/07
Only the entrepreneurs are teaching us the important business lessons.
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