How has he transformed the scene?
Bill George took a homegrown Minnesota company, Medtronic, and shepherded its rise through a remarkable decade of growth. During the 1990s, strategic mergers provided not only for global expansion of the company, but also a corresponding boom of innovation in medical devices, services and therapies that served to benefit people more than 1.5 million patients per year suffering from cardiac disease and other serious illness.
“Laser-beam focused. He exemplifies the leadership philosophy he teaches: to be guided by an inner compass, to know your strengths, to make it your business to be of service.”
Kate Rubin, Minnesota High Tech Association
An internationally-recognized author, speaker, and teacher, George has been instrumental in setting the tone for leadership and corporate accountability in the 21st Century. George has articulated his “authentic leadership” philosophy through his work as a corporate leader of Minnesota-based Medtronic, through his best-selling books, and through his teachings affiliated with institutions such as the Yale School of Management, Harvard Business School, and the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. He was named among the “25 Most Influential Business People of the Last 25 Years” by PBS Nightly Business News in 2004.
While in the midst of his meteoric Medtronic years and continuing today, Bill George has maintained a focus on community service and philanthropy. He has served on dozens of corporate, health care, and nonprofit boards in the state and nation, among them Minnesota Business Partnership, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Global Center for Leadership and Business Ethics, and the National Association of Corporate Directors. In 1994, he and his wife Penny established The George Family Foundation, which funds innovative ideas in integrative medicine, education, leadership development, social justice and spirituality in everyday life. For their inspiration, the George’s cite a line from Winston Churchill: "We make a living by what we earn, we make a life by what we give."
George is presently Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, where he teaches leadership and leadership development. He travels widely for speaking engagements related to his “True North” leadership initiatives, and continues to reside in the Twin Cities.