Capacity Building in the Eye of Entrustment
Mary T. Berra was an 18 years old college student when she took her first job at GM, accessing and checking the quality of fender and hood panels. 33 years later, Berra became the first female CEO at General Motors.
Her journey started at Kettering University (General Motors Institutes), where she worked to pay her college tuition. She returned after graduation to take on the role of Senior Engineer at GM.
It wasn’t long before it was obvious that there was something different about her, and this recognition got GM to send her to Stanford Business School. After her MBA, she was assigned the role of a GM Manager for Manufacturing Planning.
Berra’s story did not end there. In the mid ‘90s, she became the executive assistant to GM’s then CEO, John F. Smith Jr. who was CEO between November 1992 to May 2000, “fixing a troubled internal communications department, turning around an important and troubled Detroit plant, and bringing data and efficiency to the company’s messy human resources department, which earned her a spot on GM’s executive committee.” Insider, Careers, “10 CEOs that started in entry-level positions at the companies they now lead.”
Berra’s story is followed by 9 other CEOs, who started as truck loaders, sales representatives, and even receptionists. Whatever their entry role, something defines them – exemplifying them as great minds that have led, or are leading their organisations to produce outstanding results. They were visionaries, hard workers, they paid the price, honed and grew their skills, delivering on their roles, assignments while managing challenges.
As you prepare to read this series, these are questions to consider?
– What differentiates “From Bottom to Top people”?
– What gives them the ability to move upwards in their career?
– What empowers CEOs in their several establishments?
– What can growth minded career driven individuals learn from these people?
– What can business owners learn from these organisations?
– Do we have exemplary persons and organisations in Nigeria and in Africa?
In this series, we will discuss how to develop the capacity you will need for your business or career.
To birth the kind of results you desire, follow this series to learn how to develop the requisite capacity.
I am Adeyiga Awomuti,
Towards the Smartest You.