Bill George speaks with the authority that comes from extraordinary business success. He built Medtronic "already a good company "into a great company whose stock returns outperformed the market by spectacular margins during his tenure as chairman and CEO. He helped grow the company from a market capitalization of $1.1 billion in 1989 to more than $60 billion. Quarterly returns rose steadily from 1993, peaking above 1000% in 2001. They have stayed above 750% since, defying the pressures that have degraded the value of so much of the market in the past couple of years and reflecting a legacy of strength that has continued at Medtronic since he retired as Chairman in 2002. .
Bill George's message is that the key to success is authentic leadership. He describes how mission-driven and values-driven companies outperform those that are driven primarily by financial performance. Authentic leaders have a deep sense of purpose and are true to their core values. They are committed to building enduring organizations, they have the courage to build their companies to meet the needs of all their stakeholders, and they value service to society. Medtronic, the world's leading medical technology company, is famous for its innovation and solid financial performance, and also for its commitment to integrity and community service. .
As a seasoned CEO, Bill George understands the pressures on CEOs to perform. He knows that leadership is a crucible in which character and values are tested to the utmost. He speaks from experience about the hard work that makes an authentic leader. .
George was selected as "Director of the Year - 2001-02- by the National Association of Corporate Directors, "Executive of the Year - 2001- by the Academy of Management, and "Legend in Leadership 2002- by Yale University. During the corporate governance crisis in 2002, .
George's articles were published in Harvard Business Review, Corporate Boards, Directors and Boards, and Corporate Director.