Wednesday, March 24, 1999

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
Campbell Estate trustee David Heenan has co-authored
a book, "Co-Leaders: The Power of Great Partnerships,"
that explores how the best leaders throughout history
have prospered by sharing their authority.

the core of

A Campbell Estate trustee's
book looks at the power
of great partnerships

By Jerry Tune


BILL Gates gets the fame but Steve Ballmer makes Microsoft Corp. go at full speed. Franklin Roosevelt got the adulation but George Catlett Marshall took on difficult jobs as Army chief of staff and yet avoided personal praise.

It is this relationship between "co-leaders" that fascinates David Heenan, Campbell Estate trustee, businessman and educator.

Heenan has co-authored a book, "Co-Leaders: The Power of Great Partnerships," for chief executive officers, managers and others who are interested in successful organizations.

It is a lively, entertaining account of the relationships of great people. Heenan wrote the book with Warren Bennis, professor of business administration at the University of Southern California and consultant to multinational companies and governments.

They note that the old industrial age, when pioneers like Henry Ford could make all the big decisions, is being replaced by the Information Age where teamwork is vital to success.

"In the so-called new economy (knowledge based) you have to retain bright people," Heenan said. "If you don't keep them motivated they will walk across the street and be a competitor."

Psychology is at the core of the book's chapters. The successful co-leaders knew when to assert their egos in talks with superiors and when not to listen to their egos and rise to a higher level of understanding.

It is this ability to maintain self esteem, while assuming a secondary position, that is vital, according to Heenan. He said psychology is taught at most business schools but more can be done.

"There are now a lot of women's issues as part of the instruction," Heenan said. "The six-week advanced management programs also have a healthy dose of it (psychology)."

Heenan sees interesting relationships in business, sports, education and political worlds.

Bernice Pauahi Bishop refused the Hawaiian crown but found another way to improve the condition of her people. As one observer said: "Refusing to rule her people, she did what was better. She served them."

She refused the crown because she felt it would destroy her happy marriage to Charles Reed Bishop, who favored Hawaii's annexation to the United States, according to the book. By setting up Kamehameha Schools, Bishop carried out the wishes of his wife and honored their special relationship.

The book examines many other co-partners such as Microsoft's Ballmer, Bob Lutz of Chrysler, Bill Guthridge, coach of the University of North Carolina basketball team, and Anne Sullivan Macy, teacher of Helen Keller.

Some chiefs have back-tracked. Chou En-lai released command of the Red Army to Mao Tse-tung when he knew it would advance their cause.

Others, like Lutz, second in command at Chrysler, worked closely with their superiors. Lutz said it "was absolutely the best period in my whole career" while working with CEO Robert Eaton.

Co-leaders stressed that real leaders demand honesty from adjuncts, knowing that good information, even when it is unpleasant, is the basis of good decision making. It was George Marshall's courage in publicly correcting Gen. John J. Pershing that caught Pershing's eye and launched Marshall's career.

The book points out that top executives know how to listen to others. Microsoft's Gates said: "Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. And it's an unreliable guide to the future."

Microsoft has a policy of hiring the best people it can find and rewarding them. Stock options have made many Microsoft workers millionaires.

The book also emphasized that true leaders know that the only deputies worth hiring are the ones good enough to replace them.

Heenan is a former senior executive with Citicorp and Jardine Matheson. He served on the faculties of the Wharton School and the Columbia Graduate School of Business. Heenan also was vice president of academic affairs at University of Hawaii and, before that, dean of its business school. The book (John Wiley & Sons Inc., $24.95.) is available in local bookstores. Heenan has book signings from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Borders, Ward Centre; and from 3 to 4 p.m. April 17 at Barnes & Noble, Kahala Mall.

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