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Jim Weber joined Brooks Running Company as CEO in 2001 and is credited for the Seattle-based running company’s aggressive turnaround story. The business and brand success caught the attention of Warren Buffett, who declared Brooks a standalone subsidiary company of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in 2012. He’s the author of a new book called, “Running With Purpose, How Brooks Outpaced Goliath Competitors to lead the pack.”
- A purpose is a forever cause that can permeate everything from the business to the brand to the culture. It is a choice, not an outcome.
- The secret to success is “constancy of purpose” – Instead of a mission statement, Jim decided that a purpose was preferable to a mission. A purpose is a forever cause that can permeate everything from the business to the brand to the culture.
- The riskiest path is to look like your competitors. You can’t just chase trends.
- They have distinct points of view:
- Excellence in execution
- Trust: Charlie Munger has often spoken about the “seamless web of deserved trust” as a life pursuit.
- The Berkshire culture is built on trust
- Brooks is completely empowered
- Brooks is completely accountable
- There are no required meetings
- People choose to self-select into it
- “You’re an outcome of your journey.”
- What Jim looks for when hiring a leader:
- Culture driven – “Cultures are behaviors in action.”
- Likes being part of a team
- Functional excellence
- Word is bond
- Be active
- The process Jim has in place to continue learning:
- He was involved in YPO in the early years
- His wife Mary Ellen
- A board of advisors – It’s 6 former CEOs
- The one-page strategy that you relentlessly message to your team – Jim made the decision to walk away from non-premium running to concentrate on performance-running, eliminating 50% of his product line and 40% of his retail partnerships. He didn’t try to be all things to all people.
- Expectations and Messaging: After becoming CEO, Jim lowered revenue and profit projections so that he could establish some credibility by hitting his numbers. He brought in a new CFO, David Bohan… He shared a one-page strategy and told everyone they would get sick of you repeating it.