Bob is a purpose driven servant leader. He’s been consistent since I can think of almost any setting I’ve seen him. And he would talk about leadership and servant leadership, and he’s role model that throughout his career, bob, somebody that listens to the broad group of people that he works with and then processes it and makes decisions. But he’s very much a bias towards servant leadership throughout his career.
What I know about Bob is going back to early days, whether it’s Boy Scouts or whether it was West Point, which he’s talked about his great experience at West Point or service in the Army and then with P&G throughout each of those, I think the opportunity to serve the opportunity to make an impact has been what’s driven, bob. And you see it in the way he talks about things. And even today, you know, after his P&G career, I became the CEO. Bob reached out, How can I help? He’s always been available to talk. He’s always been someone that is ready to lend a helping hand to achieve something that matters.
Bob was again known as somebody that was a servant leader, he was someone that always looked to elevate the group of people he worked with to achieve outcomes that they may not have thought that they could achieve. He had an expansive view of what is possible, believed in people and believes in the good in people. And you’d see that in each of his assignments. And when he first became CEO, he talked about purpose more than any CEO I’ve I’ve worked with in my career. He believed purpose drives individuals, so when there’s something bigger than the individual that it brings out the best in people. So I’d say he’s a servant leader and a servant leader with purpose as the driver.
Yeah, unfortunately, he worked in a different side of the company. So our interactions were almost all in and leadership team meetings until he became CEO, and then he dealt with some of the more challenging few years we had when inflation and foreign exchange went away from us. What I saw, though, was Bob in tough times, stayed focused on learning and developing and investing in people. And he continued many of the outside activities because he believed very much P&G should be a force for good and a force for growth. And you saw that in the way he looked. He conducted his job as CEO. He spent certainly time inside the company and the businesses. But throughout his time, he spent a significant amount of his energy. Talking to universities are doing things that were beyond just delivering quarterly results.
Yeah, I think Bob was very well respected, and for those that worked with him closely and fabric care certainly was well liked. He’s a very personable individual. And again, he’s very much in service. That’s it’s been a consistent part of the interaction that I’ve seen with Bob is he’s got a group of people that have worked with him for a lot of years, grown up in fabric here and then other businesses. He went to the Philippines, then he went to Japan. And in both places, he immersed himself in the culture, which is again, it’s a characteristic of Bob. When he went overseas to me, he deeply immersed himself to try to understand he’s a very respectful person, somebody that wants to see the good in people and learn from different people. I think he talked very fondly about his experience in the Philippines and very fondly about his experience in Japan. And then in Brussels and then back to the U.S. He’s a true global citizen, someone that believes in the good in an individuals and different countries, different cultures. And that influenced, I think, the way he led when he was the CEO of P&G.
Bob has been he’s inspiring from the standpoint of of service on seeing something bigger than yourself, and it’s something I believe very deeply in as well. I’ve worked for forty one years for PNG and I believe that the company can accomplish great things. We are a force for good and a force for growth. And to see someone like Bob that came before me talk about purpose and how it drives them and gives them the kind of the inner drive to say we can do more, we can get beyond profit and sales growth. We ought to be a company that makes a difference. We can set egregious example in our hiring, the diversity that we have. We can be an example in many ways. I think corporate America and corporations in general and business is one of the greatest change agents in the world today. We have resources, we have smart people. And in addition to serving our shareholders, there’s a broader group of stakeholders. Bob deeply believed that and you saw that in this behavior. He believed the broader stakeholder community mattered, and he was willing to put his personal time and his leadership to make a difference to the broader stakeholder community. And you’ve seen that even after he left PNG, he went to the lead the VA. And those are very difficult jobs. But Bob believes in service. He believes a life of service is a life well lived. And you see that even today he’s reached out to me as a CEO. Can I help David? If there’s anything I can do, let me know. And he hasn’t stopped being involved, whether it’s in non-profits, whether it’s hiring our heroes or any of a number of efforts. He’s got a high energy to make a difference.
Now, the last thing that played you give the last set up, because that’s what I’ve seen, is this this idea of of being a purpose driven company? You know, almost any talk that a lot when he was the CEO and some people challenged him on that because, you know, we were having some tougher times. But Bob is very, very clear in his life, which is it’s a life of service and it’s something that I think he deeply believes in. And he doesn’t get overly focused on short term needs. He’s willing to live with some challenges and a place to make sure that he’s continuing to serve outside. I saw him whether was that Duke, whether it’s at West Point, whether it was speaking at universities, he was deeply involved in a number of colleges. He carried the message of leadership and his leadership lessons, going back to what happened at West Point to what he learned in the army and to the values of PNG. And he was a storyteller. He liked to do that. And it came out time and time again, and I’ve seen it many people after they’ve, you know, the Lee, the CEO job, then you don’t hear about him. Bob has stayed very relevant and whether it was the work at the VA or his work after the VA, you know, he’s still involved, whether it’s boards or non-profits or other efforts. He’s called about several things, you know, David can help in this area. So you see, his hand is still in a number of things that matter to him and to the broader stakeholder community.
Bob, congratulations. You’ve been somebody that’s inspired so many people. Your service is appreciated and make a difference to so many of us. Thank you.
About The Naturals A culturally rich team passionately uniting diverse talents and a profound love for nature, seamlessly weaving together shared values, unique backgrounds, and an unbreakable bond with the natural world. Event Focus and Takeaways Grasp Common Pitfalls Conquer Cultural Challenges Decode Culture Dynamics Harness High-Performance Mastery Distinguished Guest Speakers Johnson, Sector VP & […]
Bob McDonald will be speaking at the Purdue University School of Business Executive Forum on the topic of values based leadership and how they impact the success of an organization and its people. 10 Principles of Leadership Living a life driven by purpose is more meaningful and rewarding than meandering through life without direction. Companies […]
We hope you enjoy these images from the 2023 Alumni Parade and Distinguished Graduate Award Ceremony at West Point.