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Full show notes at www.LearningLeader.com

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Hubert Joly is a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School and the former Chairman and CEO of Best Buy.He is the author of the upcoming book “The Heart of Business – Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism.”


  • In May 2012. Jim Citrin, the leader of the CEO practice at Spencer Stuart, the global executive search company, asked Hubert, “Would you be interested in being the next CEO of Best Buy? 
  • Issues at Best Buy were all self-inflicted. Hubert realized there was an opportunity to fix it…
  • Hubert’s “5 Be’s” of leadership are purpose, values, clarity, authenticity, and service.
  • “My purpose in life is to make a positive difference on people around me.” – Hubert Joly
  • “If you cannot go outside, go inside. Leadership starts from within.”
    • Work to be the best version of yourself
  • Ask your people, “What is your dream?” — “My job as a leader is to help you achieve your dreams.”
  • “We’re the captains of our lives.”
  • “Profit should be an outcome, not a goal.”
  • The 3 imperatives in sequential order:
    • Great people
    • Great customers
    • Make money
  • Remember that 98% of questions that are either/or should be AND’s…
  • Key Philosophy:
    • Pursue a noble purpose
    • Put people at the center
    • Embrace all stakeholders
    • Leaders must create the environment to unleash the magic
  • What Hubert learned at McKinsey:
    • The emphasis in the early years was on solving problems.
  • In 2012, when Hubert joined Best Buy, he hired an executive coach. Why? “100% of the top 100 tennis players have a coach.” We all need a coach.
  • “It sends a powerful message when the CEO has a coach.” It shows that he understands he needs help. We all do.
  • Must-Have leadership qualities:
    • Knowing people… Who are they? What drives them? How do they want to be remembered?
    • “Tell me about your soul” —
  • Accept imperfections of self and others
  • How to turn around a business by putting people first and reducing headcount as a last resort.
  • How to unleash “human magic” for outcomes that defy logic. This includes an actionable commitment to diversity and inclusion, such as the “reverse” mentor program that pairs Best Buy executives with employees who help broaden their understanding of differences and issues they face.
  • How to become a purposeful leader focused on creating an environment in which others can flourish and perform at their best, and who inspires by showing vulnerability and embracing their and your humanity.
  • How to place a noble purpose as the cornerstone of a company’s strategy and concretely embrace and align all stakeholders around that purpose. For Best Buy, that purpose is enriching people’s lives through technology. And it allowed them to form genuine partnerships with the world’s foremost companies, including unlikely allies like Amazon, to the benefit of all. Jeff Bezos, founder, and CEO of Amazon: “Best Buy’s turnaround under Hubert Joly’s leadership was remarkable—a case study that should and will be taught in business schools around the world. Bold and thoughtful—he has a lot to teach.

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