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Higher Ambition: How Great Leaders Create Economic and Social Value by Tobias Fredberg, Nathaniel Foote, Russell A. Eisenstat, Michael Beer

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3

Forging Strategic Identity

If the best and the brightest of one generation—in any generation, in any country—get together into one company . . . then there’s a feeling that, gee, we can do something really good.

—Jorma Ollila, Nokia

LIKE ALL GENERAL MANAGERS, higher-ambition CEOs face the challenge of creating sustained competitive advantage. However, we found that these leaders are distinctive in their realization that they cannot divorce a firm’s strategy from the sensibilities and passions of its people. The story of Nokia illustrates how one of the higher-ambition leaders in our study, Jorma Ollila, helped that company return from the brink of extinction by forging a new, more powerful understanding of its distinctive character and unique ...

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