Beauty Queen (eBook)

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  • 67,665 Words
  • 240 Pages

Andrea Jung, the glamorous former head of Avon, was arguably the world's most charismatic and effective CEO, credited with the astonishing turnaround of the venerable brand.

Avon's board was filled with tough-minded, successful CEOs and other high achievers, but when Jung walked into a room wearing her Chanel suit, custom- blended lipstick and signature pearls, every head turned and she had them eating out of her hand. She seemed incapable of making a wrong move, until, amid declining sales, an investigation by the SEC, and a brand in crisis she stepped down in late 2012.

In Beauty Queen, former Avon VP Deborrah Himsel uses Jung's story as a case study for two timeless leadership questions: What makes great leaders great? And what makes them fail? She explores both Jung's early years of success as well as the combination of missteps that led to her downfall, including her failure to nurture Avon's direct selling channel, the erosion of trust that occurred as a result of frequent decision reversals, and her ignorance of operational details, including how her people secured a license to conduct door-to-door sales in China, that led to a federal investigation.

Through interviews with other CEOs, Avon executives past and present, and leadership experts, Hiimsel explores the unique challenges Jung faced as a female Fortune 500 CEO; the thin line between pride and hubris; and the danger of the so-called "halo effect" in our high-stakes times.

Andrea Jung, the glamorous former head of Avon, was arguably the world's most charismatic and effective CEO, credited with the astonishing turnaround of the venerable brand.

Avon's board was filled with tough-minded, successful CEOs and other high achievers, but when Jung walked into a room wearing her Chanel suit, custom- blended lipstick and signature pearls, every head turned and she had them eating out of her hand. She seemed incapable of making a wrong move, until, amid declining sales, an investigation by the SEC, and a brand in crisis she stepped down in late 2012.

In Beauty Queen, former Avon VP Deborrah Himsel uses Jung's story as a case study for two timeless leadership questions: What makes great leaders great? And what makes them fail? She explores both Jung's early years of success as well as the combination of missteps that led to her downfall, including her failure to nurture Avon's direct selling channel, the erosion of trust that occurred as a result of frequent decision reversals, and her ignorance of operational details, including how her people secured a license to conduct door-to-door sales in China, that led to a federal investigation.

Through interviews with other CEOs, Avon executives past and present, and leadership experts, Hiimsel explores the unique challenges Jung faced as a female Fortune 500 CEO; the thin line between pride and hubris; and the danger of the so-called "halo effect" in our high-stakes times.


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by Deborrah Himsel

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