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This week’s episode of the Future of Work podcast is with Harry Kraemer, the former CEO of Baxter and now professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he teaches management and leadership. Many of you are familiar with Baxter, the large pharmaceutical company that today has just over 60,000 employees around the world. Harry does quite a number of things, one of which is that he is a best-selling author. His second book just came out titled, “Becoming the Best: Build a World-Class Organization Through Values-Based Leadership.” You will recall that in a recent podcast, I spoke with Herminia Ibarra who also wrote a book on leadership. This episode explores leadership from Harry’s perspective. I must say that it was interesting to compare and contrast these two different models and styles of leadership. Of course, Harry and I examine what makes a leader. One of the common themes in Harry’s book is all about “being yourself.” We discuss the four principles of values-based leadership that include humbleness and humility, which Harry believes are very important for leadership. We also talk about how he scales leadership and the importance of corporate culture on leadership. There is a fascinating discourse on employee engagement as well as Harry’s concept called “leading up.” Harry shares some interesting stories and anecdotes from his life and experience as CEO of such a large organization as Baxter. As with every episode of the podcast, we end with his advice for managers, employees and organizations around the world. This is a great podcast episode. I found Harry’s thoughts, views and perspectives quite interesting, and I think you will too. So tune in and listen to this fascinating discussion on values-based leadership!

What you will learn in this episode

  • A snapshot of Harry Kraemer’s background and current activities
  • Kraemer’s opinions on managers versus leaders
  • Overview of values-based leadership and the four principles:
    • Self –reflection
    • Balance
    • True self-confidence
    • Genuine humility
  • The role of corporate hierarchy
  • Identifying leaders
  • Negativity and the effective leader
  • Kraemer’s views on the difference between Millennials and other generations in management roles
  • Leadership and employee engagement
  • Advice to managers on becoming values-based leaders
  • Advice to employees and the ability to “lead up”

Links from the episode