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Temin and Co.

Thought Leadership

Mary Barra's Defining Moment: Can GM Become The Next Tylenol?

Leadership, "Reputation Matters" Forbes, April 2, 2014

Leaders rarely get to choose their defining moments. The issues that will eventually define their reputations are most often thrust upon them...and usually those issues are far, far different from what the leaders would have chosen if it were up to them.

And so it is with Mary Barra. Only three months into her CEO stint at General Motors, her defining issue has found her; and it is a crisis that she most certainly did not choose.

When departing CEO Dan Akerson announced why he had recommended Ms. Barra for CEO, he said that she had an uncanny ability to "make order out of chaos." Today we surely wonder if he had any inkling of just how much chaos there would be in her first 100 days. Let's hope he did not. [...read more]

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