Washington D.C. Growth Coach franchise owner Ingar Grev knows the world holds few great leaders – people who know how to turn around a company, save thousands of jobs and push a staff to the next level while creating a team focused on the future who can communicate with each other.
That’s why, when Grev found himself sitting next General Motors CEO Daniel Akerson at a Naval Academy awards dinner and the two hit it off over football and a discussion on leadership and business strategy, Grev saw an opportunity.
“At the end of the evening, I asked the Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk to snap our picture and, before we said our good-byes, I said, ‘Dan, I’m a volunteer blogger for the Washington Business Journal, a business coach, and I write on leadership and strategy topics. May I please interview you?’ He said sure … and he gave me 90 minutes over the phone – more than he gave any journalist,” Grev said.
The plethora of knowledge shared during that 90-minute interview was turned into a four- day article series recently published in the Washington Business Journal. The articles received some of the most reads for the website during that second week of June.
Here’s a selection from the first article, published on June 10th:
(Dan) was certain in 2009 that GM would be doomed to an existence of mediocrity as a result of the government’s stake. Easy money never produces great results. So, how did Dan transform GM with the cards stacked against the company?
I remember reading in the Wall Street Journal a while ago that Dan earned a reputation for asking hard-hitting questions while he served as the U.S. Department of Treasury representative on GM’s board of directors. He told me that “serving on the board for a year before taking over as CEO was a big advantage for me.” It helped him learn a great deal about the business and helped inspire him to accept the job of CEO.
That might prompt you to ask: “Accept the job? Who wouldn’t accept the job as CEO of GM?” Well, Dan for one. At the time, he was the fourth-largest equity holder at The Carlyle Group and didn’t need the job. Moreover, GM was saddled with a tremendous amount of political baggage, as well as some structural issues, that drove GM into the mess they were in. Dan could have just as easily said no and kept his board seat.
You can read the articles in their entirety here: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/2013/06/general-motors-ceo-daniel-akerson-can.html
To learn more about Ingar Grev, check out his website: www.ingargrev.com.