Recap of HBA Chicago chapter event From Values to Action

On November 15, Harry Kraemer, former CEO of Baxter Healthcare, wowed the HBA Chicago chapter audience with insights from his book The Four Principles of Value Based Leadership.

As a former student of Northwestern University, Harry thought he would be at Baxter for two years. Two years turned into 24 years. When his former Finance professor, Dean Jacobs, had learned that Harry was retiring from Baxter, Dean contacted Harry to teach a class at Kellogg School of Management. At the end of his first teaching class, a student suggested Harry write a book. Harry, not interested, declined. The student then asked if he could take Harry’s class again and record and transcribe the class. The student transcribed the first class into a 200 page first chapter, got him an agent and shortly after received a call from a publisher with a contract.

Harry Kraemer’s book focuses on these insights.

What are the characteristics strong leaders have? They are people capable of keeping things simple, they employ common sense and start ASAP. Leaders start leading way before they have people reporting to them.

The four principles:

Self reflection – This is where the strong leader starts. This helps them to look at things in perspective. They ask themselves “what are my goals, values, and what do I stand for?” The do not confuse productivity with activity and can shut off the “noise.”

Balance – Balance impacts everything and is reality based and keeps a leader grounded. They take the time to understand all sides. They figure out their priorities and what they are going to do and not going to do.

True Self-Confidence – People can act very confident in public and actually have little self-confidence. Those who exude true self-confidence realize there will always be better people out there, but are ok and know they will get better every day. They can admit what they know and what they don’t know. They continue to get better at what they are good at and what they are not good at.

Humility – Keep things in perspective. Remember where you came from. “Remember the cube.” If you have a chance to have that big office, walk down the aisle of those cubes and remember how you felt.  

Speaker Harry Kraemer and Chapter President Laurie Wessels
Speaker Harry Kraemer and Chapter President Laurie Wessels
 
Former Baxter CEO Harry Kraemer is greeted by Beata Peters, Nicki Norris and Natalie Benamou
Former Baxter CEO Harry Kraemer is greeted by Beata Peters, Nicki Norris and Natalie Benamou

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