Meg Whitman Leadership Style

When you first get a glimpse of Meg Whitman, you don’t really see the ferociousness of her personality or the courageous nature of her leadership style. What you see is a quietly confident woman who is secure in the knowledge that comes only when you’ve made the right choices time and time again. That’s what leadership is ultimately about: having enough confidence in yourself so that you can have the courage to make the tough calls when they need to be made.

You’ll see that in Meg Whitman every day with her duties as the President and CEO of Hewlitt-Packard.

What Can We Learn From Meg Whitman?

The main thing you’ll see after spending some time with Meg Whitman is that she isn’t afraid to speak her mind or go against the flow of popular thinking. Take, for instance, the home electronics market that HP competes in against industry giants like Apple or Microsoft. Most people look at the future of computing in devices such as tablets or smartphones. Meg Whitman, however, doesn’t discount the need for quality computers and laptops to drive the technology market too. She’s positioned her company to take advantage of that traditional PC market.

Some might scoff at that decision because they see traditional computers as dinosaurs of an era that is being left behind, but the evidence shows that Whitman is right. HP beat their earnings estimates for their last quarter soundly. Whitman has said that HP is going to “double down” on the technology front to continue this growth. In doing so, she’s going against what everyone thinks because she has the confidence to know she is right.

It’s Hard To Make a Decision No One Else Would Make

What makes a leader stand out from the crowd is that they’re willing to stand apart from the crowd. Group thinking isn’t always a bad thing, but group thinking can lead to a mob mentality that can actually be detrimental to the development of a team, a company, or even just the individual. To truly move forward, sometimes you must first step sideways to get out of the crowd. That’s what Whitman has done with HP and she has proven that this concept works!

You can’t just be contrary to the crowd because you are looking to be different. You must take a look at all circumstances to see if stepping away from the crowd makes sense. For Whitman, it didn’t make sense for HP to compete with tablets or smartphones. It did make sense, however, to forge their own way to serve a large niche of customers that she felt were underserved in the current market. She could have been wrong, but she wasn’t.

She had the smarts to know that the entire market wasn’t being served. She had the courage to step out from crowd. She had the confidence to know she was right. That’s what being a leader is all about!

What Can We Learn From Meg Whitman?

To develop your own leadership skills, the main thing to take away from Meg Whitman is her emphasis on confidence. If you aren’t confident in where you are going, no one is going to want to follow you! If you do have the confidence that you are right and you can prove that you’re right, people will find value in stepping out of the crowd with you. In doing so, you’ll be able to blaze a new trail that beats earnings estimates, just like Meg Whitman has done.

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