Although she was fired from the position in 2005, Carly Fiorina made a distinct impression on the corporate landscape as Hewlett Packard’s CEO. Her time as CEO saw her accumulate a great deal of power and just as much controversy. It can be argued that the leadership style of Carly Fiorina was what caused her to lose the CEO position in 2005. Nonetheless, it is a leadership style that can certainly make an impression on employees, the media, competitors, and anyone else who encounters it.
Understanding the leadership style of Carly Fiorina means looking at the particulars that define her approach to management and leadership. These particulars are certainly not for everyone, but there are clearly some lessons that can be taken from her career.
The Leadership Style Of Carly Fiorina
Carly Fiorina didn’t just assume the role of HP CEO by accident. It was something that came after years of experience with companies like ATT and Network Systems. Her background certainly seemed to imply that she had what it took to run HP as the CEO. Her tenure was one of phenomenal challenges and remarkable controversy. As the world watched her navigate through those things, the elements that made up her leadership style became clear:
She is achievement-orientated: HP was a company that needed someone who could establish a set list of goals and then begin to relentlessly work towards them. Unfortunately, this is a trait that also infuriated certain individuals when Fiorina made it a point to simply do what she felt was in the best interests of the company.
She is ambitious: Managing HP during its twenty-three billion dollar merger with Compaq was a substantial achievement. It could have only been done by someone of considerable ambitions.
She is focused: Fiorina revealed over and over again that the bulk of her focus was on taking HP into new, bold directions.
She is a perfectionist: Fiorina became well known for staying up all hours of the night to make sure anything that bore her name or HP’s name (or both) was absolutely perfect.
She is hands-on: Taking on the CEO position with HP in 1999 demanded someone who would have a willingness to approach the various tasks and challenges with a strong, unshakable, hands-on approach to management. Fiorina answered that demand almost from day one.
The story of Carly Fiorina and Hewlett Packard is a story of ambition and controversy. It revealed a fascinating leadership style, as well.