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By Steven I. Davis (auth.)
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Daily Telegraph, 1 April 1995) How does Wood think his 3,500 employees respond to him? They probably think I work too hard, that I'm focused and that I actually care about them. Recently in Glasgow we had a Christmas party for about 900 staff, and when I walked in they gave me a five-minute standing ovation, which to say the least was somewhat embarrassing. When I was in their shoes in the insurance business, I couldn't wait for the boss to leave so we could enjoy ourselves! A fellow insurance entrepreneur and now partner in a new venture, Jim Stone of the US insurer Plymouth Rock opines that It's a rare executive who has both an analytical view of the business and at the same time an emotional feel for both the employees and the customers.
Philadelphia Inquirer, 16 January 1996) Having selected Brennan (without a competitive horse race, which would have spread conflict throughout the organisation), Bogle affirms the need for change in leadership: 22 Financial Leaders of the Twentieth Century He [Brennan] couldn 't have done what I did, but he '11 lead Vanguard better than I would for the next 20 years. I'm not a manager at all, I'd rather be viewed as a leader. I had the opportunity to start it out from zero, name it, shape its values, and establish a framework for its investment strategy.
Yet there are limits to what his leadership can achieve in motivating his staff: The nature of the business is changing so that, for example, you don't need as many engineers for damage analysis. We 've outsourced a lot. We try not to make people redundant, but it's getting tougher. The key is always to show you worry about them - then they'll run over the hilltop with you. After ten years of continued success and at the age of 49, Wood has selected a successor as chief executive to run matters day-to-day for Direct Line and is spending more time in building a similar business in the US market.