At Hasher, she was responsible for marketing Playschool and Mr.. Potato Head brands. Whitman, now 49, joined eBay minion as president and CEO, has helped turn it into a major Internet presence, visited by some seven million people daily. As ruler of the world’s biggest online auction site, Whitman, has successfully beaten back stiff competition from Amazon. Com and Yahoo. To do that, she has swiftly fixed any problems, has faithfully tried to weed out the fakes on her site and has posted a consistent flow of profits, making eBay the world’s most valuable Internet brand.
On paper at least, Whitman who is married to Griffith R. Harsh IV, a neurosurgeon, is a multi-billionaire and one of the richest woman Coos in the world. Http://en. Wisped. Org/wick/Meg_Whitman Leadership and Motivation: Personal traits: Flexible and Adaptable The business world is continuously evolving and the demands for new ideas are uprising. In such situation, Whitman is comfortable going with the flow, rather than being rigid. In order to maximize output and to cope with today’s diverse workforce, Meg Whitman thinks both in terms of flexibility and adaptability.
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What started out as a pure consumer-to-consumer auction racetrack, is now inviting large and small businesses to sell to consumers and other businesses. For example, Whitman decided to buy Ballpoint, an online system that allowed payments by e-mail, offering another enticement for prospective eBay buyers and sellers. Also to help eBay move into other markets, Whitman negotiated the purchase of Kruse International, a collectible car house, and Lands De GAG, the largest online-auction house in Europe.
As a result by the end of the third quarter of 1999, eBay reported sales of more than $741 million, up from just $195 million the year before. The company ad also virtually cornered the online-auction business, accounting for 90 percent of all on-line-auction sales. Therefore, eBay’s economy is expanding exponentially and it is earning record profits for eBay’s stockholders. Http://www. Irreproachableness. Com/biography/S-Z/Whitman-Meg- 1956. HTML Confidence “The biggest mistake many Internet companies make is waste a lot of money on television advertisement,” .
But Meg realized that she had critical mass and that the company needed to tell its story. Thus the company’s first multi- million-dollar television ad campaign capped the company’s most successful ratter and opened up the company to a broader group of consumers. Meg Whitman believes that people are basically good and so they should be trusted. She has huge confidence in both her employees and her customers. With the expansion of eBay, Meg is confident that her team will find the way of managing it, as managing the company’s growth is Whitman greatest challenge.
Under her reign eBay’s employment rolls rose 67 percent to about 5,000 in a year’s time and the profit is driving a growth of 70 percent. Whitman has said, “We don’t actually control this, we have a unique partner–millions of people. With that in mind, Whitman company holds hour-long teleconferences to get their polls as an input, which gives the users a feel of ownership. As a result, eBay’s users feel like owners and they are motivated to take the initiative to expand the eBay economy beyond management’s wildest dreams.
They have achieved what business call “The Network Effect”. It is important because it increases the value of the service for other buyers and sellers http://WV. Benchmark. Com/news/SF/2003/08_25_2003. PH Listening Whitman has an uncommon humility and ability to listen to customers and employees. She believes that one can’t direct the company’s users to do much of anything, instead needs to use the community of users to chart the course of the company. She finds out precisely what its users like and dislikes before she makes any changes to the company.
She listens to people like an average person and often responds to what the eBay community wants, even when her gut tells her to do something entirely different. After the acquisitions of leading payment-service Papal, caused dissent on Wall Street, despite the fact that most customers preferred Papal to EBay’s own Ballpoint payment service, Whitman isn’t immediately willing to part with what she said was a “tremendous amount of money”. Whitman believed that eBay would compete and win against Papal. It wasn’t clear to her that Palsy’s payment service was hands-down better than what eBay’s development team put together.
But after months of watching eBay’s customers repeatedly choose Papal over eBay’s service, she said customers eventually made the decision for her of rallying her own management team to back the Papal purchase, and recommended it to her board. Whitman maintains her customer focus by answering many of the e-mails she receives from them herself. She taps eBay’s community to find out precisely what its users like and dislike before she makes any changes to the way the company lists and conducts its auctions.
Because of Whitman insistence on listening to customers, some analysts describe her management style as “matronly” rather than aggressive, as if she were the den mother of a pack of eBay sellers. Http://www. Businesslike. Com/technology/content/jejunum/tc20070615_661449 . HTML? Chain=search Connects with People Whitman acts like an average person would. She’s not on a different level the way some executives are. She keeps a steady hand on the tiller rather Han gripping and pulling hard on the levers of power. She delicately steers and builds relationships with her employees instead of controlling them.
She works from a cube, like all her other employees and not from a corner office. Instead of commanding her employees, she prefers to converse with them. She asks questions, instead of providing answers and then sharing what’s been learned. She encouraged participation and is willing to share ideas and information. It builds continual consensus and earns trust through simplicity for Meg and her employees. She says that at eBay, it’s a collaborative outwork. It is truly in a partnership with the community of users. For her the key is connecting employees and customers in two-way communication, ‘The Power of All of Us. Whenever she’s out traveling, she’s talking to people who use eBay. In order maintain Meg’s customer focus, she frees up about 500 employees for the annual eBay live event – a place where its customers – many of whom make their living selling items on the site – can meet, greet and their feedbacks can be heard. On the mission to get direct and clear information about eBay’s effectiveness, Whitman and her executive team randomly pick bout 20 eBay customers each month to visit one of eBay’s offices, to delve into their preferences.
Whitman has attended most of those meetings herself, frequently asking, “So, what’s on your mind? “(Goldsmith Chapter-9 Empowering People) http://www. Marketplace. Com/news/story/eBay-CEO-Whitman-bids-her Entrepreneurial Whitman may be calm, but she’s ambitious. As she moves quickly to defend her company’s turf, she’s also looking to broaden the company, seek the right opportunities and taking good risks. As soon as she got to know about the company, she realized that it was making of a great brand so she helped eBay o public after months of her arrival.
What started out with 20 employees, 170 when Meg arrived to 2500 in four years time, she was set about making eBay corporate and more professional. EBay went from 10 product categories to now selling 18, 000 categories, in 27 countries. The once auction web for used stuffs is now selling both used and new things often at fixed prices both by individual and by large corporations. As eBay economy expands, managing it gets a lot tougher especially because eBay’s millions of passionate and clamorous users demand a voice in all major decisions.
But that does not stop err expanding eBay’s economy any less and now she is expanding eBay very well overseas. Despite geopolitical risks, she entered china’s online business, as Whitman believes that china is a potential hotbed for Internet commerce and china can become the second revenue-producing region behind US. Just this year she bought Bazaar (which has online auction sites in eight European countries) and made moves in New Zealand, Korea and other countries. Http://archive. Salon. Com/people/BC/2001/11 / 27/Whitman/index. TMI Empowerment Whitman describes her role as a 7-by-24 job and she receives 175 emails a day. How does she lead? L don’t tell people what to do – I try to influence the direction of the company,” she says. Other nuggets from the Whitman leadership philosophy are reassuringly familiar: “All strategy questions can be reduced to: Who are your target customers? What are your competitors likely to do? What value will it create? In order to respond, they have to be able to make decisions and implement changes quickly.
Also to cope with the increased work demands, Meg has to empower her people. Http://www. Postulating. Com/news/by_pa/2002/by_pa_200205130. H tm Personal strands: Whitman has woven her tapestry from three basic and counterintuitive trends: First, she realizes she can’t control eBay’s community of buyers and sellers, because they don’t report to her and if they’re dissatisfied, they don’t have to show up for “work. ” “It’s not our baseball card,” http://www. Sinews. Com/Sinews/news/articles/051031131 Whitman. HTML Whitman second leadership; people are basically good, so trust them.
Pierre Midair, the former software engineer who founded eBay, originally formulated it. It was him who came up with eBay’s feedback system, which allows buyers and sellers, true strangers, to evaluate each other based on the quality of their dealings. Whitman says: “Our Company is built and managed on validation. Where else can you wake up and see how much you are liked each day? ” http://www. Sinews. Com/Sinews/news/articles/051031131whitman. HTML The third leadership strand is perhaps the hardest to internalize, but Whitman has.
Her words are: “Don’t assume you know more than the marketplace or community&; because you don’t. ” Unlike Wall Street bond traders who try to outguess and outsmart the market, Whitman listens and learns to formulate the right questions; then she influences others on her team so they can come up with the right answers. You are constantly taking in new information,” says Whitman, “constantly changing the prism through which you view your business. ” CEO s today has to be receivers rather than transmitters. It’s a discovery process, not a dictatorial process. Http://www. Sinews. Com/Sinews/news/articles/051031/thiamin_2. HTML As democratic leader: Meg Whitman leads by not leading, bosses by not bossing, and manages by not managing. Guided by Whitman, eBay is redefining the bedrock business principles, including leadership, that have anchored successful corporations since the Industrial Revolution. In the process, Whitman has created a radically ore democratic company, a model organization in which the collective intelligence and enthusiasm of its 157 million customers determine and drive the daily actions of its 9,300 employees.
Transformational leader: “It’s different from traditional leadership,” says Whitman. “It’s usually: What does the center want to do? It’s command and control. At eBay, it’s a collaborative network,” eBay, a highly fragmented and participatory business model required a new kind of corporate leader, one who, like Whitman, keeps a steady hand on the tiller rather than gripping and pulling hard on the levers of power. Her mission is to understand the wants, needs, strengths and weaknesses of congregants in an effort to grow the flock.
Women such as Meg Whitman of eBay succeed because they embody seven uniquely female abilities: they can sell their visions; they are not afraid to reinvent the rules; they are closely focused on achievement; they show courage under fire; they turn challenges into opportunities; they are aware of customer preferences. The new breed of leaders combines traditional leadership behaviors with a transformational perspective. Visionary: Transformational leaders don’t shy away from complexity. They immerse themselves in it, embracing it, recognizing and grasping the opportunities that it presents.
They make connections to bring clarity amid the complexity. They develop inspiring ambitions on top of their rigorous strategies, which are more likely to ride the waves of change and strategic renewal. For example, Meg Whitman has a vision when she wanted to expand eBay overseas. She can sell her visions; she is not afraid to reinvent the rules; she is closely focused on achievement; she shows courage under fire; she turns challenges into opportunities; she is aware f customer preferences; this is an example of her visionary leadership behavior.
Another example, After Meg Whitman joined eBay as the Ceo, her vision was to make the eBay site more professional and more profitable Engaging: In the past, visionary leaders have tended to neglect the practical aspects, maintaining distance from their followers. The transformational leader is also a valued guide. Rather than simply pointing at the mountain, they actively coach and support others in the organization as they strive to reach their goal. They connect the vision with the actions required to get there. For example, hen Meg Whitman had a vision about expanding eBay overseas.
To achieve her vision she bought bazaar (which has online auction sites in eight European countries) and made moves in New Zealand, Korea and other countries. To make the eBay site more professional and more profitable she walked a fine line between making the site more attractive to businesses without alienating those individual buyers who had helped the site to become a success. She launched a national advertising campaign and created an anthropomorphic apple as the official eBay mascot. All of those make her engaging towards practical aspects. Http://archive. Salon. Com/people/BC/2001/11 /27/Whitman/index . Tm Fusing: The transformational leader is a conduit for diverse ideas and initiatives buzzing around the organization. He or she sees the organization as a network rather than a pyramid and instinctively wants to be at the organization. Transformational leaders connect the dots or nodes within the organization to make things happen. They fuse the talents and opportunities to create value today and for the future. Managing the company’s growth has been Whitman greatest challenge, but she has an easy-to-follow philosophy: Help eBay’s immunity of buyers connect with sellers, set a limited number of rules and get out of the way.
Whitman and her executive team randomly pick about 20 eBay customers each month to visit one of eBay’s offices, to delve into their preferences. Whitman has attended most of those meetings herself, frequently asking, “So, what’s on your mind? ” Whitman also set about making eBay more corporate. She created the company’s first national advertising strategy. She recruited executives from places such as PepsiCo. She pushed for stores and companies to sell on eBay, so now corporations such as Sun Microsystems sell lions of dollars worth of products a year via the site.
She encouraged eBay to offer various specialty sites under the eBay umbrella – much the way Fad’s global Web site, under her watch individual florists’ shops under the FAD banner. Whitman also installed a trust and safety program, which offered insurance for buyers. In making the place more corporate, she made it more professional. Http://www. Benchmark. Com/news/SF/2003/09_18_2003. PH Building Partnerships: The transformational leader also seeks collaboration with other organizations, constantly looking for partners that can add the missing ices to the strategic jigsaw.
They view partnerships/joint, ventures/outsourcing and the whole panoply of collaborations as a way to make connections, for example, more than any business leader sellers say those who know her well. Her mission: To understand the wants, needs, strengths and weaknesses of congregants in an effort to grow the flock. For steady-handed and understated stewardship of the rare enterprise that is eBay, Whitman is the inner of the inaugural CBS Market Watch Chief Executive of the Year Award. Under Pastor Meg’s stewardship, millions of followers already are paying tithes to eBay each mime they shop online.
And if Not’s estimates are accurate, there are millions more auction converts waiting in the wings. Said Whitman: “When you’re trained in MBA school or most other businesses, you use the words, ‘Drive, push, go after,’ and it’s not that way here. Here, you have to use the community of users to chart the course of the company. You can’t direct them to do much of anything. ” It’s different from traditional leadership,” says Whitman. “It’s usually: What does the center want to do? It’s command and control. At eBay, it’s a collaborative network,” she adds. “You are truly in partnership with the immunity of users.
The key is connecting employees and customers in two-way communication. We call it The Power of All of Us. ‘ “(Goldsmith chapter-5 Building Partnership) http://www. Benchmark. Com/news/SF/2003/09_18_2003. PH Effect on followers: From a leadership perspective, her most striking attribute is to enable other people and other groups to get things done. “She is not trying to control the community. She is trying to respond to the needs of the community. ” http://www. Cry. Com/it-channel/52600592 Excite followers: eBay built a costly system to respond to customer e-mails within 4 hours.
And thanks to this attention to building loyalty, more than half of eBay’s customers come by referrals from other customers. Whitman managed to expand the company without destroying its community, maintaining what she calls “the small-town feel on a global scale. ” (Goldsmith Chapter-15 Ensuring Customer Satisfaction. ) As Digital leader: The modern leader has multiple roles and constituencies. The job is increasingly fragmented. There is little time to do everything well and so he or she faces a continuing series of trade-offs of time, energy and focus.
Leaders themselves admit that the role is becoming more challenging as there are needs for restructuring and managing change, increasingly demanding customers, difficulties in finding good people and technological change, particularly the use of information technology. They cite pressure from financial institutions to meet performance expectations, increasing complexity and competitiveness of business as a result of globalization. To meet the growing demand of technology and to face the various challenges, digital leaders are developing. But digital leadership is not concerned only with high-tech businesses.
Digital is a state f mind just as much as it is a technological phenomenon. It is about making new connections and creating value in new ways. Digital leaders are able to organize themselves and their organization to take advantage of new market opportunities. This is at the heart of their success and of their leadership style. The essence of being a digital leader is also transformation. Transformational leaders have the capacity to perceive something that is currently regarded as being impossible and then make it happen. They do this not by doing more, working harder or organize more resources but by fundamentally altering the context.
Crucially, they regard self-transformation as the key to organizational transformation. These leaders last because they become skilled at re-inventing themselves and their businesses. Meg Whitman represents a digital leader as a CEO of the online auction company eBay. She presides over one of the pure-play Internet businesses that successfully weathered the dot. Com storm. In fact, the company has been profitable in all but two quarters since its inception. Whitman has successfully made the switch from traditional companies. (Goldsmith-Chapters – Developing Technological savvy) http://WV. Postulating. M/news/by_pa/2002/by_pa_200205130. H tm Conclusion: A leader should have the ability to change his or her leadership style according to situation. Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay, successfully cope with the world where discontinuity and exponential change will become the norm. In the future, leaders will have to orchestrate radical redesign of everything from their internal processes to their business model on an on-going basis. This requires leaders to adopt new approaches to leadership and new behaviors. The real challenge for Meg Whitman is to transform her, and to use that new personal power to transform others, and her business.
Transformation must come from within the individual and as a CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman success. Thus her transformational skills lead her as a Digital leader, which is a combination of personal, organizational and market transformation. EBay is operationally sound, especially considering it is still in its buildup period and it has a business model that scales extremely well. The management has shown that it responds quickly and well, and has been working hard to expand the business without jeopardizing the core business.