What do you do?
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: What do you do?
D. Quinn Mills: I suppose I am an opinion maker. I publish a lot. I give a lot of speeches, I try to analyze things, provide leadership. I don’t do it with in an organization the university has been a a base for me to do it to the outside. I spend a lot of time abroad. I think it is very important for Americans to do that now, because our role in the world is so confused at this point time. So, I think by writing and teaching I’m an opinion maker.
Question: What interests you about leadership and strategy?
D. Quinn Mills: I think they are very important, I am a generalist in a world that is full of specialist, I am a generalist. I have taught in a number of different disciplines, I know a great deal about a lot of subjects, I have tried to focus on big questions in the subject. I have tried intensely to be a journalist, to be a generalist, and that’s unusual in the modern world. A lot of people are very suspicious of that, but I think it is very important for somebody to try to figure out how the whole thing fits together, and I think the lack of that is the real problem that we have. So, I think the most important thing I’ve done is to try to be a generalist and provide some leadership and some perspective in that regard.
Recorded on: 9/27/07
Mills is an opinion maker.
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