Go Thee to Asia
Good to be home from traveling around Asia Pacific the past couple of weeks talking about Reputation Warfare. So am now back on the blog posting trail. Two things struck me this week although I will make sure to write more about some of my observations about reputation in Asia in the weeks to come. Just to start out, while I was away, Barron’s World’s Best CEO list came out. This highly coveted and selective list usually has a theme in addition to its traditional focus on longterm financial performance. As they say, they like to identify corporate leaders who make a difference to their companies and deliver for investors. Barron’s require that a CEO has been at the job for at least three years and prefers companies with market values of at least $5 billion. This year their advice to leaders is “Go Thee to Asia.”
“Any big company looking for serious growth in the 21st century must have a plan for Asia. The region is home to half the globe’s population and, increasingly, it’s driving the world’s economy. So, as Barron’s drew up its annual list of the world’s 30 best chief executives, we took a hard look at how each candidate was approaching Asia and other developing markets.”
“In a July 2010 letter, Mr. Buffett instructed his managers to “zealously guard Berkshire’s reputation.”
“We can afford to lose money — even a lot of money,” Mr. Buffett said. “But we can’t afford to lose reputation — even a shred of reputation.”
These Buffett quotes don’t surprise me and neither does the removal of Mr. Sokol. When I turn to my favorite quote of all time from the sage/oracle from Omaha, it appears he acted swiftly and deliberately. In case you have never heard me say it, it is quite appropriate today.
“If you lose dollars for the firm by bad decisions, I will be understanding. If you lose reputation for the firm, I will be ruthless.”