Leading a Multibillion Dollar Company

Harry Kraemer served as chairman and CEO of Baxter International, a multibillion-dollar company, for six years. What follows is a sampling of principles that guided him.

Harry Kraemer says in his book, From Values to Action, that values-based leaders go beyond influence to, “… using their influence to pursue what matters.”

Simply put, what matters most is the greater good.

Harry reminded me that from an organizational point of view, a great leadership team helps leaders determine what matters most.

Operationally, the greater good is “the positive change you can effect within a team, department, division, or organization, or even on a global level.”

Harry explains that what matters begins with your values and extends to engaging in “making a difference and setting an example.”

His experience demonstrates that values-based leaders are highly focused decision-makers with less stress in their lives.

The four principles of value-based leadership:

  1. Check out Harry’s book

    Self-reflection. When leaders take the time to reflect on what is important to them and why, they transform activity into productivity. Read how Harry learned the value of self-reflection on Journey to Silence.

  2. Balance: The ability to understand all sides of an issue. Facing issues holistically simplifies the world. In addition, action plans become more obvious.
  3. Selfconfidence: The ability to see and accept yourself exactly as you are.
  4. Genuine humility: Never forgetting who you are, appreciating the value of each person, and treating everyone respectfully.

A key point:

The book has two other parts that you can explore on Amazon. A key idea that hits me is, “Leaders must shift their focus from success to significance.”

********Harry’s career advice:

Choose opportunities that allow you to grow and learn.

Find places where you can add the most value.

Ask can I have fun here.



“I want to make a difference with my life – by treating others with respect and never focusing on my own needs ahead of the goals of my team or the organization”


Part 1 of my interview with Harry Kraemer: Journey to Silence

Part 2 of my interview with Harry Kraemer: Three Things Strong Leaders Do

What does values-based leadership mean to you?

What career advice do you offer?

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