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Dee Hock Articles
The Credit King: The Early Years of VISA Founder Dee Hock
You may not have ever heard of Dee Hock, but that is exactly how he wanted it. This founder of VISA, and the man who first helped conceive of a worldwide system for the electronic exchange of value, believed that if he was running the company properly, consumers would only benefit from the front-end services and not even hear about the back-end operations. In 2010, VISA earned over $8.065 billion in revenues.
VISA’s Victory: How Hock Took VISA to the Top
When Hock arrived on the scene, the credit industry was collapsing right before his eyes. As banks raced to respond to the increasing demand, they found themselves out of their depths. Masses of people were being given pre-approved cards, including even children, pets and convicted felons – any lists of people that the banks could find. Fraud was rampant. Hock knew something had to change or the entire industry would soon give out.
Lesson #1: “Never hire or promote in your own image”
Hock always had a strong sense of his own strengths and shortcomings. To that end, one of his guiding principles was to surround himself with associates who would complement his skill set rather than duplicate it.
Lesson #2: “If you look to lead, invest at least 40 percent of your time managing yourself”
“Here is the very heart and soul of the matter: If you look to lead, invest at least 40 percent of your time managing yourself – your ethics, character, principles, purpose, motivation, and conduct,” said Hock. “Invest at least 30 percent managing those with authority over you, and 15 percent managing your peers. Use the remainder to induce those you ‘work for’ to understand and practice the theory.”
Lesson #3: “You must get the old furniture of what you know, think, and believe out before anything new can get in”
“The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out,” Hock once said. “Every mind is a room packed with archaic furniture. You must get the old furniture of what you know, think, and believe out before anything new can get in. Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.”
Lesson #4: “Without principles, a purpose is dangerous, for it confuses ends with means”
“A true purpose always has ethical and moral content, which can be either implicit or explicit. It is a statement to which all members of the community can say with the wholeness of mind, body and spirit,” says Hock. “’If we (notice the plural) could achieve that, then my (notice the singular) life would have meaning.’ By that test, does making next quarter’s profit give my life meaning? It may be a necessity, it may be desirable, it may be beneficial in some way, but it’s not a purpose. It’s a relatively meaningless objective or goal.”
Lesson #5: “No organ in your body dominates any other”
Thanks to Hock, VISA operated according to some unique principles for its time.
The Chaordic Entrepreneur: How Dee Hock Achieved Success
Even if you have not heard of him, chances are your wallet is very grateful to Dee Hock. The founder and former CEO of VISA, Hock was no ordinary entrepreneur. He left the business world at the top of his success to focus on creating a new organization theory centered around chaordic organizations. Today, his business and theoretical legacy live on.
Dee Hock Quotes
Dee Hock Quotes
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