May 19, 2020

Three Leadership Styles You Need at the Top

Steve Jobs
business leadership
Warren Buffett
Bizclik Editor
4 min
Three Leadership Styles You Need at the Top

Written by Dr. Jack Stark, author of The Championship Formula

Winning businesses follow the championship formula: People + Personality + Process + Purpose = Dynasty. People, naturally, are the first element needed to be in place in order to build a business with sustainable success. It is the people at the top—plus their personality traits along with processes and their purpose in life—who provide a more complete answer to identifying companies and teams that are successful over time and reaching dynasty status. The championship formula model identifies three core leadership staff and a group of followers: a Thinker—or idea person, a Promoter—a marketer and communicator, a Coordinator—a day-to-day manager, and a Corps of Action-oriented Staff—support staff.
This is the brain behind a team who comes up with cutting edge innovation that propels and maintains the group’s success—Steve Jobs with Apple or Tex Winter and the Triangle Offense with the Bulls and Lakers. They are brilliant people who can conceptualize and apply their vision with incredibly successful outcomes. In the corporate world, professional sports, and collegiate sports, the thinker is typically embedded in the roles of Board Chairman, Star Player, and Chancellor or President, respectfully.
This is the person who promotes, sells, or markets the team or company and the person the public most readily associates with it: Jack Welch, GE; Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway; Payton Manning with the Colts or Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. with NASCAR. In the corporate world, professional sports, and collegiate sports, the coordinator is typically represented by the CEO, General Manager or Owner, and Athletic Director, respectfully.
This is the day-to-day coordinator who is responsible for running an organization. This is often the COO or the general manager of a team such as the brilliant ex-GM of the Colts, Bill Polian. Most often, the qualities of a coordinator are embedded in the role of a COO in the corporate setting, and Head Coach in professional and college sports.
Action-Oriented Staff:
These are the key chief executive officers, board members, division heads, assistant coaches, or administrative staffers who carry out daily functions that ensure the ongoing success of the organization.
Of the three types of leader, there is always an Influencer. This is a person who has a major impact on the life of the key leader of a team—the person most identified as a primary leader. The Influencer impacts the culture, thinking, and behavior of the Leader whether he or she is in the role of Thinker, Promoter, or Coordinator. Influencers are mentors who may be a parent, coach, teacher, boss—anyone who helped shape the head coach or CEO.
It is important to note that these roles are not always locked in for all time. As brilliant thinkers build a large talent base at the top, they can switch to promoting the organization – and become the face that people identify with as representing the organization. For example, Warren Buffett had been able to move into the Promoter role, with Charlie Monger and previously David Sokol helping with the Thinker duties. That said, there needs to be great flexibility in this shifting, with contributions clearly spelled out for long-term success.
My findings would indicate you need these three leadership styles at the top in an organization. Perhaps this is why so many leaders now fail or last at the top for only three to five years. They don’t surround themselves with the other styles. We are in a period where we have an abundance of charismatic leaders who lack deeper substance and bounce from one rousing speech to the next. They are a mile wide and an inch deep. It can catch up to you during your first crisis. By studying the people who mentored and shaped a leader, you learn a great deal about the essence of a championship leader.
About the Author: Dr. Jack Stark provides psychological and performance enhancement training to elite athletes at the collegiate, professional and Olympic levels. Dr. Stark maintains a practice as a licensed clinical psychologist and has provided assistance to more than 10,000 individuals. He is the founder and director of Performance Enhancement Group, regularly consults to Fortune 500 executives and has made over 1,000 presentations on Leadership and Teamwork.
Dr. Stark’s latest book, The Championship Formula, which documents his winning formula at work, is available for purchase at and Amazon.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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