August 22, 2011
A few weeks ago I was sitting at my desk in my home in Coronado, California, working final touches on my book Grow, when I got a short message from Geoff Colvin, senior editor-at-large at Fortune, to call him as soon as possible.
I talk to Geoff periodically. He featured me in September of 2007 in a series he was doing called “C-Suite Strategies: The Colvin Interview”, and we touch base now and then. I thought the call might be about Aol or Motorola Mobility, where I serve on the board of directors. Or perhaps the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, where I had just run a week-long Academy for Young Marketers.
It was none of the above. Geoff was calling to tell me I was going to be named to their Executive Dream Team of corporate all-stars, to be revealed August 22, and then celebrated at an event in New York City in September. He said I would be their Dream Chief Marketing Officer, and that I would be in great company. He also said he could not reveal the complete Dream Team at the time. I pushed him, and like the great journalist he is, he did not budge. I thanked him, told him I was surprised, honored, and very touched, and said I would eagerly await the “reveal” of the balance of the Dream Team.
Well today the Fortune Dream Team was announced and I am even more touched and honored than the day Geoff called me. The Dream Team, with Ken Chenault as CEO, Jim Skinner as COO, Aditya Mittal as CFO, Anne Mulcahy as Nonexecutive Chair, Jonathan Ive as Design Chief, Rob Carter as CIO, Susan Chambers as Chief People Officer, and Carlos Brito as Designated Hitter, is a simply remarkable group of people. It is a fantasy to think about working side-by-side with this talented team — I guess it won’t happen, everyone on this “team” is a little busy, but it is fun to think about.
It was also interesting to me that a few of the companies that these leaders represent are profiled in my upcoming book Grow. My book offers leaders a new framework for accelerated growth, based on a ten-year study of high-growth businesses, with colorful stories to bring the framework to life. So which of these great companies are featured in my book?
Just as Geoff held me in suspense, I will not yet reveal the companies … but you are welcome to guess!