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In his column above, Michael Sansolo briefly referenced a piece in Fortune by Muhtar Kent, the retiring CEO of Coca-Cola. There are some comments he makes in the story about leadership that deserve more attention, and so here they are:

Re: starting points... "Over nearly 40 years in business, I’ve often said that doing an excellent job is only the starting point - the foundation. It’s about creating the conditions to sustainably repeat success. And, in this case, success is connected to making a promise into the future without a pre-determined outcome - and then taking action to deliver on that promise."

Re: brand promises... "At its heart, Coca-Cola is a brand business, and our brands are nothing more than promises. If a good brand is a promise, then a great brand is a promise kept. Keeping our promises means never falling into the traps of complacency and arrogance while always being open to change and improvement ... In the last few years, we’ve taken a step back to look at our business and examine how we can become faster, more entrepreneurial, and more efficient."

Re: building for the future... "It has also been important for me to maintain a long-term perspective on creating value for stakeholders, something many might think would come naturally in a business with 130 years of history. But nothing is automatic. When I spoke during our shareowners meeting last year, I explained that we’re building this business not only for the next quarter, but also for the next quarter of a century. To me, making such a statement really comes down to doing what’s right and necessary now so that our future prospects are not harmed, but enhanced."
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