Bernie Marcus, CEO of The Home Depot Shares What it Takes To Be An Exceptional CEO

I recently interviewed Bernie Marcus, Co-Founder and 19-year CEO of The Home Depot to find out how innovative thinking had helped The Home Depot become such a phenomenal success.

“What innovations do you think The Home Depot really brought to America?,” I asked Bernie.

“Well, it’s not innovations.  I would say the word is concept.  You know, the ‘do-it-yourself concept.’ Think about it, do it yourself.  We started it in the United States and this is what made The Home Depot successful and continues today to make it very successful.  So you have to go back 30 years.  So back in 1978 and people did not do things around their house.  If the plumbing broke you called a plumber. If something happened to the electrical system, you would call the electrician,” he replied

“So you made American’s become innovative?,” I asked.

“Today, what’s happened is that if you have a plumbing problem, most people know how to fix it themselves.  Most people know how to do all the general things around the house and it came about because of The Home Depot. That was an innovation.  That was a change in culture – how people deal with it, and it had a tremendous economic impact on this country.  I don’t know how many billions of dollars this created in the United States and the wealth of this country,” Bernie replied.

My next question of this successful CEO was, “So when you look at CEOs, what can CEOs do to be better?”

“If you were to ask me to sum up what makes a really good CEO, why there’s a differential between the two, I would say the CEO who is successful is the one who listens,” he responded.

Learn about the incredible story of Bernie Marcus of The Home Depot in our video interview.

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About the Author: Robert Reiss

Robert Reiss is Host of The CEO Show, which features leaders who have reinvented industry through exceptional customer experience models. The show is nationally syndicated by Business TalkRadio Network. Click to hear podcasts of this and oth…

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