Tag Archives: Frank Blount

How PMBA at Robinson Adds Value

I’ve been asked so many times: “How does PMBA at Robinson add value to you, Anna?”, “Did you get anything out of it at all?” and the like. Let me share with you just one single thing that blows my mind today, and you will know exactly whether or not PMBA at Robinson adds value…

I think I told you that I wrote a book. In the past month or so, I’ve been sending my manuscript out for people to read and endorse the book, so that it can be viewed as a credible source of information with a wide range of social support.

Remember I wrote two blogs about our Leadership class presenter W. Frank Blount, whom we read a case study about and whom I personally admire greatly? Well, imagine if you wrote a book. What is the chance that someone like W. Frank Blount, who’s so well-respected and famous worldwide, would support your book? Not much of a chance, right? 🙂 Guess what? Everything is possible when you’re a part of a huge professional network, such as PMBA at Robinson. Do you already understand where I’m going with this? Yes! You’re right!!!  W. Frank Blount was so kind and nice that he actually invested his valuable time into reading my book and he also wrote a statement of support for me!!! Can you believe it? Ok, if not, here it is: http://smartgoalsbook.info/testimonials-from-readers/

W. Frank blount, SMART goals Book

Frank wrote this statement of support to be placed on the back cover of my new book, and so I did:

W. Frank Blount, SMART goals Book

So, now you can conclude for yourself whether or not PMBA at Robinson adds value – I don’t need to persuade you, right? If you’re looking for great opportunities, strong and wide network, and advanced progress for yourself –  PMBA at Robinson is THE place to be! You should check out how to enroll on the program: the sooner you start, the sooner you will advance your level of success. Good luck!

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Frank Blount’s Leadership Adventures and Lessons Learned

So, Frank’s wife said “yes” to the opportunity! I hope you know what I’m talking about, and if not, CLICK HERE.

He had been in Australia a lot on business-trips, so it wasn’t a too foreign country to him. He was invited to come and explore the job, but…. as an UNDERCOVER.  Why? The companies were merging at that time, and it was important to keep the current CEOs out of it. So, Frank could not use the office at the company as two current CEOs of merging companies didn’t know about Frank’s existence at all. Thus, Frank had a suite set up at a hotel, where he had a table and all appointments were scheduled with all people whom he had to meet, right there at that hotel-suite. His main goal was to help key-people understand ”we can’t stay where we are”, as he said.

The first step was to establish a good benchmark to control company’s expenses around the world. Frank used an outside company to produce the data to establish the benchmarks for each departments separately: HR, Legal, Marketing, Sales etc. Above you will find  the exact data he used back in 1994-1995 to persuade his team. Frank carried this data with him everywhere, presenting it to people with the aim to communicate that f they did not take significant steps toward positive change in the nearest future, the company would be eaten alive…

The major challenge of Frank’s new leadership-position was that out of 93,000 employees at Telstra only 50 were not members of the union… even executives were members of the union… He recalls this: “I was sitting in my office on the 45th floor face to face with Dough during that winter…  and I remember seeing my own reflection in a window…. I looked at myself in a window and told myself: Frank, I dont even know how to do it…”…

Frank was trying to work with the union, but after a year of no progress at all, he gave up. He took a different approach: 11 of his executives and him personally were taking one day out of each week to go out to each out 5,000 locations and talk to people. They did it for years. They’d have an HR person with them, they’d take email addresses for each attendee, they would aim to answer all questions employees asked, right there, and if no answer was found right away, they would e-mail the needed information to the person who needed it within 24 hours. Frank oughted to win the minds and hearts of people, and he did…

I asked Frank Blount, what were 3 major lessons he had learned from his leadership adventures at Telstra. See his responses:

  1. Learn to trust your own gut – there’s always limited time to think when making decision, so trust yourself
  2. Utilize the power of communication – it takes a lot of repetition to get your message out there and persuade people
  3. Get rid of resistant people asap – “you’ve got senior people who don’t buy in, you don’t have time to rehabilitate to it, so don’t delay with getting rid of them” Frank said.

Another question asked was this: What advice would you give us as future CEOs?

You need a group of people who undestand HR, Operations, Engeneering, Marketing, Sales and have unique experience to be good generalists. Also, you need specific experts, who worked forever in just one of these fields. It takes both to achieve success.

I myself had a broad range of experiences when took the position at Telstra. If you work in a company now, get an opportunity to see and explore the big picture. It’s hard to become a CEO, if you only always worked in Accounting or Marketing. Get a variety of experiences, cross-functional experiences.

Wow! That is great information, isn’t it!!! I hope you like reading about our amazing guest-speaker Frank Blount, whom we had a privilege to her in our Leadership class at Robinson College of Business.

One last note: now Frank is back to GA State and serves on the Board of Advisors of Robinson College of Business.

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Frank Blount as a guest speaker in PMBA Leadership class at GA State

Wow! Last week’s Monday was super-special! I know I sound overly-excited, but let me tell you what happened. In our Leadership class we had to read a case as a part of our homework. as always. The case was about a very successful transformation by an outstanding leader, whose name was Frank Blount. I read the case with my breath held – it was so interesting, complicated, full of important events, and, honestly, I was very impressed with Frank Blount.

On Monday last week I come to class… and guess who is there? Yes! Frank Blount!!!!! Frank Blount was a guest speaker in our PMBA Leadership class that day! I must say, no wonder people love him – he connected with the audience as soon as he started. He’s very easy-going, extremely smart and likes to share.

Frank Blount

Frank Blount in our PMBA Leadership Class

Frank shared with us his professional and some life experiences. Answered our questions in regards to the transformation he implemented in Australia – the one we read about in that homework-case. I’ve learned a lot, and was impressed! And also I got inspired by Frank’s stories.

Let me share with you some of the things I’ve learned and found very interesting.

Frank Blount is a native of Columbus, GA! Was admitted to GA Tech and became its top graduate at Intellectual Engineering. After graduation, he was looking at 2 employment opportunities: Bellsouth (AT&T) in Atlanta and another opportunity in Louisiana. He accepted the second option and moved to Louisiana with his bride at the time and now wife of 52 years 🙂 It was exactly the engineering job he was looking for, but it didn’t work out for his wife and their personal life….. In the meantime, Bellsouth really wanted Frank still and followed him to Louisiana. They found the church Frank was attending and sent one of their supervisors to build a relationship with Frank. 🙂 “When it was time for me to move, Bellsoith was there…” – Frank says. So, he took the opportunity with At&T and moved to Atlanta, GA.

Interestingly, Frank Blount got his MBA from Robinson College of Business in 1969, just like us 🙂 The only thing he pointed out about it was that they didn’t have such a nice and technologically-advance class-room back then 🙂

Frank Blount speaking about his leadership-adventures

Speaking of his own professional success, Frank Blount emphasizes  the role of his is curiosity, which enabled him to bring many important details to people’s attention.

At some point of his career at AT&T, Frank was presented with an idea of other opportunities…. He wasn’t exactly looking for a new job yet, but executive search firms were calling him all the time throughout the years. Usually, he would reject opportunities, but this time the firm was persistent……

The firm had spent 9 months talking with Frank on the phone about an opportunity to become a CEO of  Telstra Corporation Limited in Australia He was offered everything he wanted, including a first-class flight home every so often. In 11 months he decided to take the job, but didnt know how to tell his wife…… During their many years of marriage she moved 17 times with him. To this move she, unfortunately, said no… That was in October, but by Decemeber she said yes! 🙂 …………..

Interesting? I have more to share and more pictured for you, but that’s for next time 🙂 Check back on Saturday!

p.s.: BTW, if you’re interested in Frank’s leadership-adventures in Australia, he co-authored a book with Bob Joss, the Dean of Stanford’s Business School, entitled “Managing in Australia”. You will be very impressed, if read it about the time he worked as the Director and CEO of  Telstra Corporation Limited in Australia.

Frank Blount and Anna Stevens

Frank Blount and I

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