Speaker Spotlight: bill george



WILLIAM W. GEORGE   Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic Author of  Discover Your True North


Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic
Author of Discover Your True North

Bill George is a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He is the author of:  Discover Your True North and The Discover Your True North Fieldbook, Authentic Leadership, True North, Finding Your True North, 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis and True North Groups.

Mr. George is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic.  He joined Medtronic in 1989 as president and chief operating officer, was chief executive officer from 1991-2001, and board chair from 1996-2002.  Earlier in his career, he was a senior executive with Honeywell and Litton Industries and served in the U.S. Department of Defense.

Mr. George currently serves as a director of Goldman Sachs.  He has served recently on the boards of ExxonMobil, Novartis, Target Corporation, Minnesota’s Destination Medical Center Corporation and the World Economic Forum USA.  Bill is currently a trustee of the Mayo Clinic, and has served as board chair for Allina Health System, Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, United Way of the Greater Twin Cities, and Advamed.

In April 2014 the Franklin Institute awarded him the Bower Award for Business Leadership. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012. He has been named one of “Top 25 Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years” by PBS; “Executive of the Year-2001” by the Academy of Management; and “Director of the Year-2001-02” by the National Association of Corporate Directors.  Mr. George is a CNBC Contributor and has made frequent appearances on television and radio.

He received his BSIE with high honors from Georgia Tech, his MBA with high distinction from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar, and honorary PhDs from Georgia Tech, Mayo Medical School, University of St. Thomas, Augsburg College and Bryant University.  During 2002-03 he was professor at IMD International and Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, and executive-in-residence at Yale School of Management.

He and his wife Penny reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For more information about Bill and projects he is working check his Website or on follow him on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.


Discover Your True North is a leadership classic for all generations. In guiding you toward your own True North — the internal compass that guides you through life — Bill George also skillfully encourages principled global leadership. Authentic leaders change each other, and the world, for the better. Discover Your True North is a clarion call for that change.

Each chapter delves into the life stories of 101 global leaders who exemplify its lessons. Culled from Bill’s personal interviews with diverse leaders like Arianna Huffington and Warren Buffett, these stories will clarify your understanding of each principle. In clear, compelling prose, Bill then guides you through observations and questions that set you on the path toward your own True North.

Discover Your True North is a must-read for leaders in all walks of life, from young managers to successful CEOs. Have you ever asked yourself, “How can I become the best person I can be?” If so, then this book is for you, too.

You can access the Discover Your True North book and all accompanying materials here

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Bill George presence at Ethicspace is sponsored by Signature Performance

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