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A long climb to the top

WS talks to top executive Winston R. Wallin

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Career Management,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Workplace Communication

Winston Wallin, age 72, began his career in Pillsbury’s grain department in 1948. By 1977 he was president of the Pillsbury Company. And his greatest years lay ahead of him.

Wallin joined Medtronic, Inc., a highly successful medical-products manufacturer, in 1985 as CEO. In his 11 years as CEO and chairman of the board, he led the company to become the world’s leader in pacemakers. In 1997 its worldwide sales were $2.6 billion.

WS: After graduating college in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, you started at the bottom at Pillsbury. And you eventually climbed to the top. Was that your plan all along?

Wallin: No. I just worked hard and applied myself. My observation is that people who become too preoccupied with their career advancement screw up their relationships with others. They’re often so ambitious that they make enemies. In fact, I’ve seen managers deal with overly ambitious employees by cutting ...(register to read more)

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