Harry Kraemer

Harry Kraemer

with Harry Kraemer

Professor, Inspired leader

Harry Kraemer

Harry Kraemer 1200 651 33Voices

33voices interviews Harry Kraemer

To thyself be true

Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr is a living portrait of what it means to be an inspired leader – he’s selfless, well-balanced and always driven to do the right thing. In late 2001, as Chairman and CEO of Baxter International, Harry faced what would become his defining moment – how would he react to the sudden death of several patients from what was perceived to be faulty Baxter equipment? What followed was a rare example of a leader who told the truth, and one who lived his personal mantra ‘to do the right thing?’

As a distinguished professor of strategy at Northwestern University and executive partner at Madison Dearborn Partners, Harry has made values based leadership his life’s work. In his brilliant new book ‘From Values To Action’, Harry inspires leaders to self-reflect. Understanding who you are is truly the beginning of anyone’s leadership journey; ‘if you don’t know who you are, how are you supposed to lead yourself? And if you can’t lead yourself, how are you supposed to lead other?’

He wears his humility on his sleeve, ‘I’m not a very smart guy, so let’s keep it simple. Think of any problem you need to deal with. There are a million pieces of information that can get involved in a decision. But let’s get above the tree line and ask some simple questions. What is the issue? What are the alternatives? What are the pros and cons? What is the best solution? Life is complex, but you can boil the morass down to thinking simply.”