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Value Leadership: The 7 Principles that Drive Corporate Value in Any Economy

ISBN: 978-0-7879-6604-1
320 pages
October 2003, Jossey-Bass
Value Leadership: The 7 Principles that Drive Corporate Value in Any Economy (0787966045) cover image


In Value Leadership, renowned management and investment expert Peter Cohan — whose 2002 stock picks gained 81percent when the S&P 500 plunged 24 percent— provides a new and powerful concept of sustainable corporate value. Using his expertise in understanding shareholder value, Cohan offers executives seven management principles that were tested in periods of economic expansion and contraction. These principles are: valuing human relationships, fostering teamwork, experimenting frugally, fulfilling your commitments, fighting complacency, winning through multiple means, and giving to your community. Cohan illustrates these principles by drawing on examples from eight Value Leaders— Synopsys, WalMart, Goldman Sachs, MBNA, Johnson & Johnson, J. M. Smucker, Southwest Airlines, and Microsoft. Through two recessions, these companies grew 35 percent faster, were 109 percent more profitable, and generated five times more shareholder wealth than their peers.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: What Is Value Leadership? 1

1 Where Do You Stand? (Start with the Value Quotient) 25

2 People Matter (Value Human Relationships) 53

3 Two Heads Are Better Than One (Foster Teamwork) 81

4 Growth Matters (Experiment Frugally) 107

5 Trust Is Vital (Fulfill Your Commitments) 137

6 Success Can Breed Failure (Fight Complacency) 165

7 Profit Is Vital (Win Through Multiple Means) 189

8 Doing Good Matters (Give to Your Community) 221

9 Actions Speak Louder Than Words (Instill Value Leadership in Executives, Investors, and

Policymakers) 253

Appendix: Selection and Value Quotient Analysis of Value Leaders 275

Notes 291

Acknowledgments 302

The Author 304

Index 307

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Author Information

Peter S. Cohan is president of Peter S. Cohan & Associates, a management consulting and venture capital firm. He has written seven books, including The Technology Leaders (Jossey-Bass, 1997), which was selected as one of the ten best management books of 1997 by Management General, and Net Profit (Jossey-Bass, 2001), which the Washington Post called "A savvy, discriminating guide to Internet business." He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, and CNBC and has been quoted in the New York Times,Time,Fortune,and Business Week. Cohan is also an executive-in-residence at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
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"Value Leadership is unusually well-constructed and perceptive, and its precepts seem eminently sensible for companies aiming for long-term." (Financial Executive)

"Peter Cohan has produced a thoughtful and well-written analysis of what it takes to build and sustain a successful business organization. He employs real-life business examples to illustrate his points and he makes a compelling case for the principles which he believes can make or break a company."
— Samuel L. Hayes, III, Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking, Emeritus, Harvard Business School

"Value Leadership is an insightful and inspiring book. It recognizes that restoring trust in corporate America will take more than legislation and compliance with regulations. It will demand a fundamental re-examination of corporate values, cultures and relationships. Cohan presents a cogent, practical model for this process, which should interest investors, executives, board directors, employees, policymakers and anyone who wants to see business generate value for society, in a sustainable and ethical way."
— W. Michael Hoffman, executive director, Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College

"Value Leadership evolves Cohan's earlier paradigms into seven extremely clear principles to he lp both graduate students and managers in our executive education programs analyze companies in today's hot fields like genomics, bio-informatics, and photonics. I think his principles, cases, and tools will also be quite useful for managers, venture capital investors, board members, and others who have to assess and guide growth businesses."
— Barry Unger, chairman, science and engineering program division of extended education and faculty of photonic, Boston University

"There are two things every executive should understand about Value Leadership. First, the Value Quotient is a strategic assessment and planning tool that is easy to understand, and put to work. Second, it actually does work. Brilliantly."
— Michael Alan Hamlin, author, The New Asian Corporation and CEO, TeamAsia

"It's so easy to commit conceptually to value leadership, but so hard to implement that commitment in a sustained way and to achieve best-in-class results. Cohan provides guidelines for a systematic approach to both implementation and measurement of value leadership derived from his in-depth studies of companies that demonstrate sustained value leadership. The world needs more value leaders. Peter Cohan can help."
— Mark P. Rice, Murata Dean, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, Babson College

"Value Leadership is an extremely important book because it lays out a clear and navigable road map for companies to restore trust with customers, employees and investors. It thoroughly integrates uplifting principles with a thoughtful measurement approach to ensure outstanding results, providing a healthy antidote to the cynicism that has grown so pervasively...I recommend this book strongly to boards and management teams, who are almost universally dealing with these issues."
— Bill Kelvie, CEO, Overture Technologies

"Peter Cohan takes us back to the future with laser-like focus through the prism of value (based) leadership. Cohan appeals powerfully to our natural instincts to "do the right thing", and reminds us that honesty, integrity, and character in their full splendor are the truly enduring elements of successful American capitalism—and, as important and measurable as profits and growth.
Value Leadership is a much-needed prescription at a unique time in American business, and stands apart from its genre by reminding us of the traits that make the pursuit of profits a noble cause".
— Mahesh Krishnamurti, publisher and CFO, Worth Magazine

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