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3M Company & Jim McNerney’s Leadership Style

Chapter I – Introduction
a) What is leadership?

Leadership is the ability to influence employees to voluntarily pursue organizational goals. To be a manager and to be a leader are not the same. Management is about coping with complexity by planning and budgeting, organizing and staffing, and controlling and problem solving. However, leadership who not only has all of a manager’s kills but also copes with change by setting a direction, aligning people to accomplish an agenda, and motivating and inspiring people (Kinicki). To an organization, change is necessary because change is to exist, surpass competitors, and come up with society’s development. In competitive market of the United States, the talent of the company’s leaders virtually determines its success. In an effective organization, leadership is present at all levels, and it presents the sum of many things (Kinicki). Leadership means vision, cheerleading, enthusiasm, love, trust, verve, passion, obsession, consistency, the use of symbols, paying attention as illustrated by the content of one’s calendar, out-and- out drama, creating heroes at all levels, coaching, effectively wandering around, and numerous other thing. Unlike a manager who has the right of authority to perform or command that comes with the job, a leader has the power to influence others so they respond to orders. In the fundamentally conception of a leader work is made, not born.

b) What is the 3M’s Leadership under McNerney’s Term?

At the 3M Co., stories are a big deal. Collectively these stories form a larger narrative about how 3M became, and remains, one of America's premier corporations. Everything about how 3M is changing under new CEO James McNerney, the first outside leader in the company's 100-year history (Alldredge). 3M’s leadership under McNerney’s term focused on investment in people. Although the company leadership develops in new process, new techniques, and new growth, of all the pathways to growth, investing in our people is most important. The premise is very simple as McNerney expresses that if your people grow, your company will grow. The key: linking growth in individuals to those things that unlock energy and activities that our customers value. Clearly, McNerney has brought more centralized direction to a company that has always favored a laissez-faire approach of experimentation and doodling. The mythological stories about Jim McNerney create the exciting climate to the company employees while his leadership brings 3M Company back the successful pathway (Alldredge). Becoming the leader of 3M, McNerney knows he's going up against decades of 3M stories in which naysay management is always the villain. However, McNerney's challenge will be to maintain the delicate counterpoise not only between the company's center and its periphery but also between efficiency and innovation. Although someone who are inside and outside company suspect the progressive approaches of McNerney, the success of the company in the competitive market in the United States proves the efficiency of his leadership. The story of a hero is written down.

c) Who is Jim McNerney and what is his leadership style?

James McNerney was the chairman and CEO of 3M which is a $20 billion global technology company from 2001 to 2005. He joined 3M after 19 years at the General Electric Company (Haeq). When McNerney took charge of the position of the company CEO, 3M was facing with several difficult situations when its stocks price fell down $80 - $90 per share in the market and the amount of shares sold at the market fluctuated about $ 1 million a day. Listening Clay Hoes, a stock analyst at American Express Financial Advisors in Minneapolis told about his hero, McNerney, “He's not afraid to do the hard things - cutting factories, reallocating resources from here to there. Those are decisions that have to be made on an economic basis." He is credited with beginning to turn around the company's performance with leading positions in electronics, telecommunications, industrial, consumer and office products, health care, safety and other businesses. As a result, under his lead the company stocks price significantly increase up to $147 per share in the market and the company shares sold at the market about $6 million a day. His success as a Business Week article claims that based on both a transactional and transformational leadership. We will analyze how he applied these approaches in 3M Company.