Are you polishing doorknobs?

Richard Rumelt of UCLA has shown that there is an intriguing paradox

at the heart of management today.


When he asked a sample of Chief Executives of US corporations to describe the qualities of those business leaders that they admired more than any others, the answers he got all dwelt on “first-mover” attributes such as insight, contrarian thinking, bravery, and decisive action.

But when he asked them to describe the moves they themselves were making in their own companies, the answers he got were the old perennials of 360 feedback, cost reduction, outsourcing, shared services, margin improvement, customer relations management, six sigma and process re-engineering.

He described these practices as “doorknob polishing” in contrast to what he saw as the “predatory leaps” courageously made by the leaders they most admired.

Do you lead courageously or just polish the doorknobs?


Trevor B. Lee  –  EP International
We provide C-suite services in the field of talent acquisition, development and retention.
Source material: LEF

One comment on “Are you polishing doorknobs?

  1. Meloney Hall says:

    Polishing doorknobs only satisfies compliance standards, which the general public doesn’t really know about or understand, but expects nonetheless . But the daring and braave trendsetters are the true influencers.


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