In his monthly column for the Harbus, Professor Kevin W. Sharer shares his thoughts on the issues facing HBS students. A very successful CEO of a respected and large global brand shared four ideas with the top 500 executives at their annual leadership gathering. This meeting is the key leadership leverage opportunity for the CEO,… Continue reading Authentic!?
In his monthly column for the Harbus, Professor Kevin W. Sharer shares his thoughts on the issues facing HBS students. California is America’s most populous state, the world’s seventh largest economy, a region of boundless diversity and riches, and the home of Hollywood and Silicon Valley—it is not called the Golden State without reason. California… Continue reading Governor Newsom Needs a Plan
This may seem a strange time to make a case for optimism. There are so many serious issues in the United States and the wider world. It is hard to know where to start. Here is a partial list of the challenges: endless wars in the Middle East; an increasingly totalitarian China; climate change; racism;… Continue reading The Case for Optimism
In his monthly column for the Harbus, Professor Kevin W. Sharer shares his thoughts on the issues facing HBS students. The Three Graces is a famous marble neoclassical sculpture executed by the Italian artist Antonio Canova in the early 19th century. The graces are meant to represent the three daughters of Zeus, who personified mythological… Continue reading The Three Graces for MBAs Today
Fortune magazine reported that on August 19, 2019, the Business Roundtable announced a new purpose for the corporation. Why did this 300-word, not particularly specific (and certainly not binding on anyone) declaration receive such widespread attention? Why should HBS students care? What might it mean for business and society? In short, is this a big… Continue reading Corporate Purpose?
Larry Culp is an HBS grad (MBA ’90), enormously successful former CEO of Danaher, subject of several HBS cases, HBS Senior Lecturer, and my good friend. As you may know, since October 2018 he has been on leave from the faculty for services to GE as Chairman and CEO. A bit of full disclosure. I… Continue reading Professor Culp’s Master Class
Recently two former CEOs of large multinational companies (one British and one American) were talking about the most serious mental health problems that exist in the large American and British universities they each chair. Surprisingly the challenge on both sides of the Atlantic and echoed at two university chair meetings they had just attended was… Continue reading Dealing with Anxiety
Mary Barra, the highly regarded CEO of General Motors pictured above, is part of a very, very small group of women CEOs. Mary is a GM lifer who rose through the manufacturing ranks to earn the job five years ago. Despite decades of focus, effort, progress and learning women like Mary are vastly underrepresented in… Continue reading More Women CEOs
Dear Mark, You founded and built Facebook into a global colossus in a remarkably short time. You conceived of a need to allow people to connect easily, quickly everywhere and at virtually unlimited scale. You recruited the team to help you, made adjustments along the way and in the process built a commercial juggernaut with… Continue reading A Letter to Facebook’s CEO
It is the season for the EC to close in on career choices and the RC to lock in internships. The realization is dawning that HBS is actually a twenty month experience that quickly is over. You must have questions. What industry? What functional area? What company? Compensation in the first few years? Experiences of… Continue reading The Golden State
Two billion people worldwide have enrolled in Facebook, and it is fair to say most of them have used the service. Many have integrated Facebook and its services deeply into their lives. While Facebook is the dominant social media product, there are other providers in America and around the world. But allow me to focus… Continue reading Beware Social Media
Many powerful and influential men are being called out and finally being held to account for egregious behavior towards women that range from truly monstrous to profoundly stupid and wrong. This is long overdue. The history of mankind has a few enduring themes. Some are inspiring, and some are discouraging. The fact that men have… Continue reading Enabling Ecosystems
We hear a lot about growth. So much that perhaps you just tune out the message as part of the background noise. Growth? We need jobs, money to live on and pay back loans, life partners, children, friends, and a little (very little) time for ourselves. Check with me later. Besides, have we not been… Continue reading Commit to Growth
Most likely you have spent many hours thinking about and preparing for your professional life. In fact, for most of you, the core reason you came to HBS is to make a career pivot, to find a new, more attractive professional track. Once on that track, in the wider world, most of your time will… Continue reading Choosing a Life Partner
Uber is a remarkable company that has transformed personal transportation around the world. In the process it has created enormous value for shareholders, provided jobs for thousands including many HBS grads, and upended the status quo. The CEO has pursued an aggressive, take no prisoners approach familiar to many in Silicon Valley. He has made… Continue reading A Challenge for Uber’s Board
Thomas Friedman got me thinking the other day when, in a surprisingly agitated commentary (he’s usually pretty calm and measured) he talked about the difference between formal authority and moral authority. If you’re not familiar with Friedman, you should be. He is a widely acclaimed author and columnist, winner of three Pulitzers and now serves as… Continue reading Moral Authority
You may wonder why this subject has anything to do with you as you work hard at school, try to find a job, and balance a hopefully fulfilling and busy personal life with everything else that is going on. For most of you, let’s not even talk about your current balance sheet and cash flows.… Continue reading What Are the Elites To Do
This Thanksgiving, like many of you, I spent a few minutes contemplating my many blessings. One blessing in particular provoked a surprising flood of gratitude in my heart: I am deeply and profoundly thankful to Barack Obama for his service to our country over the past eight years. No, this is not a back… Continue reading Thank You Mr President
Last year the column entitled Primary Colors provided a framework for how to think about career choices. The main thesis of the piece was that there were three broad pathways to choose between, and the fundamental choice was deciding which one appealed to you. These pathways were described as operator with CEO being the ultimate… Continue reading Deciding on a Job: Don’t Overthink It
As he was driving to meet a schoolmate acquaintance with an intense and deep experience base in politico-military affairs, he wondered what to talk about. They had met a few times, had friends in common, but no deep shared experiences or obvious common interests. Maybe the meeting was about fundraising given the new person’s position.… Continue reading Protecting the American Innovation Ecosystem
Google the phrase “do the right thing” to see the many ways in which this mantra is intrinsic to American and other healthy cultures. At HBS this message is paramount. It goes without saying that we all want to be successful in life and business, always in ways that are rewarding, legal, honest, and honorable.… Continue reading It’s Legal but is it Right?
At HBS, we are lucky enough to be taught by some of the most experienced leaders. Professor Kevin Sharer is the former CEO of Amgen and sits on the boards of Chevron and Northrop Grumman. He currently teaches two sessions of General Management — Processes and Action. During his 20+ years of leadership, Amgen grew… Continue reading On Leadership In Health Care And Giving Back: An Interview with Professor Sharer, Former Amgen CEO
Dylan is scheduled to make his first presentation to the sector executive with responsibility for his boss’ business. He’s excited and a bit worried. Though he spent a few years in consulting and did well at HBS, he realizes that as an operating manager he is now in a new environment where the stakes are… Continue reading Your Moment to Shine: The Presentation to the C-Suite
By Harvard Business School Professor Kevin Sharer, Former Amgen Chairman & CEO Bill floated on air as he headed out of his office, toward the bar down the street. His annual review had exceeded his highest hopes. He knew he was good, but this confirmed to him that others knew it too. “Your achievements this… Continue reading Aim High?
HBS Professor Kevin Sharer, former CEO of Amgen, shares his insights on how to approach and handle the press. Sometime in your career and perhaps much earlier than you now imagine, you will find yourself working with the press or being a subject of press interest. This possibility may conjure pleasant thoughts of personal or… Continue reading Kevin Sharer: Beware the Press
Professor Kevin Sharer, former CEO of Amgen, has some advice for leaders who find themselves charged with investigating and cleaning up a catastrophe. It has happened again. For the at least fifth time in fifteen years another enormous, preventable, and egregious transgression has been purposefully or carelessly committed by a previously respected company. It will… Continue reading A Memo to VW’s CEO, Dr. Müller
Professor Kevin Sharer, former CEO of Amgen, makes the case for developing an explicit strategy for your time in school. Steve Hind, editor of The Harbus, wrote in the last edition to suggest that you think purposefully about the choices you make at HBS with an eye towards social choices in general and some EC… Continue reading Professor Kevin Sharer: What is Your HBS Strategy?