Kevin Sharer led Amgen for 20 years, first as President and then as CEO for 12 years. Under Sharer’s leadership, the company achieved annual revenue of $16 billion with operations in 55 countries. During this time of tremendous growth, Amgen was recognized as among the world’s most innovative as well as largest biotechnology companies. He is currently a senior lecturer at Harvard University Business School and continues to mentor a select number of senior executives. Either as a Chairman, independent director, or mentor, Sharer has been a part of more than 20 successful CEO-successor transitions.
Be part of “Mindful Monday” — Text LEARNERS to 44222
The Learning Leader Show
- “What Operational Excellence Looks Like”
- Must know the details
- Must have a listening system to know where problems brew
- The leaders have a clear agreement with the team on what success is
- A cadence of clear communication
- The leader must embody the behavior… They are the model
- Must have real empathy for people and care about them
- The leader needs to assess when things go wrong so that they don’t make the same mistake twice…
- Kevin spent 110 days underwater in a submarine…
- When he left the Navy, he knew he wanted to be a manager. He joined a program at AT&T to become one…
- He had an ambition to rise high in an organization
- Kevin’s dad – A military aviator. His hero and role model. his dad cared a lot about leadership…
- How did Kevin earn the CEO role at Amgen?
- Spent 8 years as the President of the company. And “made it pretty obvious” to hire him for the CEO role
- He consistently delivered results and formed a strong partnership with the CEO
- How to sustain what’s special about a company as it grows?
- The book Built to Last by Jim Collins was very helpful….
- How to create and live your values?
- They are not defined by what’s written down, it’s the behavior of the people. And that starts at the top…
- Understand what your real values are. If you don’t believe in the values, you shouldn’t work there…
- You “have to have social data to know that the values are real.” Ask others in the organization: “Are the values you experience consistent with the values stated by the company?”
- How he got hired as the President at Amgen?
- “I first decided that I wanted to be a General Manager and not a functional specialists.” Kevin pursued that through General Electric and got great experience…They hired him in part because of his broad range of experience.
- It was a multi-step interview process. Kevin interviewed with 20 people at the company before getting the offer…
- Listening ability: Kevin went from bad to great… “On the way up in my career, I had the view that I was so fast, so smart… It was working. I thought I was being helpful by telling others what I thought, but I was cutting off the full picture.”
- Kevin had an eye opening moment when he asked the CEO of IBM to talk about leadership with his team…
- “I learned to listen for comprehension. Listen to understand first.”
- “You need to listen to the entire eco-system.”
- Big idea: Pick 10 CEOs who didn’t make it: “Seven of them weren’t situationally aware.”
- What are some “must-have” hiring qualities?
- A record of good knowledge
- Great communication skill
- Comfort in their own skin
- Curious – they must ask questions
- Answer the question, “what are your goals?”
- Answer the question, “what have you learned from failure?”
- “If five people were asked about you, what would they say?”
- Their accomplishments speak for themselves. They don’t have to overly sell themselves
- They need to “clearly want the job.”
- A good sense of humor
- Hiring trap: “There is a bias for us to hire people like us. It’s overwhelming. We’re wired to think, “other is dangerous.” We must be aware of that.”
- Apply to be part of my Leadership Circle
- Read: WELCOME TO MANAGEMENT
- Be part of “Mindful Monday” — Text LEARNERS to 44222
- Read: The CEO Test
- Connect with me on LinkedIn
- Join our Facebook Group: The Learning Leader Community
- To Follow Me on Twitter: @RyanHawk12
Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon
Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great
Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children
Episode #303: General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership