The Greatest CEO

Article from National Mortgage News Sept 12, 2011

The Greatest CEO (Uncredited Editorial)

Mortgage chief executives would do well to follow the example of Steve Jobs, one of the greatest CEOs in American history, if not the greatest ever (time will tell on that).

Jobs brought pride and passion to his role at Apple, as well as a visionary intensity and perhaps even a genius. Many CEOs follow the money carrot in front of them, at the direction of their boards (creating a closed loop that can bar many other valuable contributions and occasionally can turn negative or even criminal). Jobs was driven to create things of value for his customers, which would then create value for shareholders. Jobs ran his company as if the C-suite was still in the garage where he had his first inspirations.

In addition, many CEOs of large American companies are vastly overpaid. Jobs was worth every penny he ever got. It’s worth remembering, too, that resiliency was a huge part of Jobs’ toolkit. He was bested handily in the original PC wars, and was even ousted from his own company, which was in tatters as he returned to lead it to the very top of the list.

Luckily, there still was an Apple cult of devoted users who found Macs superior to PCs, more stylish, more reliable, and equipped with the latest and freshest apps. This core became the impetus for the successful chain of retail stores Apple has opened. And its legendary acumen with apps like iPods, iPads, and iTunes has led the way into a future people could only dream about just a few years ago. People now hang on to Apple product releases or upgrades the way a previous generation might look to see what new auto models Ford or GM was releasing.

How can mortgage CEOs follow Jobs’ example? The mortgage business is in roughly the same shape Apple was at its nadir. If not in tatters, it has been battered. It has drop-kicked creativity out of its C-suites and gone back into a turtle shell of a model popular 30 years ago (Freddie, Fannie, Ginnie and a very few nonconforming lenders). It is a business that is in dire need of a genius.

Of course, there are technology firms in the mortgage space. And they have demonstrated a creativity and nimbleness that Steve Jobs might have recognized. Defaults causing a resurgence of short sales? Here are a dozen short sales solutions for you to consider. Don’t trust the ratings agencies any more (and why should you)? Here are a bunch of new risk analytics firms to help you quantify your risk.

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Sean McMillan & Jae Wu
& The Heyler Realty Team
10659 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
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