There is a fascinating video online with Ron Johnson - who had impressive runs at both Target and the Apple Store, only to go down in flames as CEO of JC Penney - appearing at Stamford University's Graduate School of Business for a conversation about his business successes and failures.
You can - and should - watch the video, which is at left. It is instructive on a wide variety of levels…
About Target, Johnson says that he learned that "leadership is situational, not positional," and that it can be provided from anywhere within an organizational structure. At Apple, Johnson says, he learned from Steve Jobs that "you have to be willing to start again." And at JC Penney, Johnson concedes, he was guilty of arrogance … but you almost always learn more from your failures than your successes.
There is one amazing statistic cited by Johnson - that just one out of every hundred visitors to the Apple Store actually makes a purchase. Which means that the other 99 are either visiting the Genius Bar or getting some training (both of which only further brings them into the Apple ecosystem), or just browsing - which means they are both embracing and being embraced by the Apple culture. This also, by the way, makes the Apple Store's sales-per-square-foot of $4,551 - the highest in the nation - even more impressive and Eye-Opening.
Great stuff. Check it out.
- KC's View: