Nike be credited to the current CEO, Mark

Nike CEO | Mark Parker

being founded in 1964, Nike has sprung to be the top leader of athletic shoes
and apparel, holding a 62% market share of the US athletic shoe market. Over
the years, the amount of retail stores that Nike operates worldwide has
gradually increased. As of 2017, there was a total of 1,142 Nike retail stores.
Nike is a company with a staggering brand value of $15.9 billion that is
constantly on the rise. A lot of Nike’s success can be credited to the current
CEO, Mark Parker. Parker started working for Nike as a footwear designer in
1979 and, as of 2006, has become the CEO. He has helped the company to
successfully attract the street style generation with product lines such as
Nike Free Run, Air Max and Fly Knit. Mark Parker has an amazing leadership
style that has aided in his personal success as well as Nike’s.

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            In 2012, Mark Parker was named the Most Creative CEO by
Fast Company. It is fair to say that Parker is quite an effective leader. Since
being named CEO in 2006, profits at Nike have increased 57% and the market cap
has more than doubled. Parker describes his leadership style as an “edit and
amplify” approach. Referring to this approach, Parker stated recently that, “I’m
trying to amplify the innovation agenda further, and short-list the things that
will make the biggest difference. That’s an art and a science.” It has also
been said that Parker takes an approach known as Design Thinking’. Essentially,
Design Thinking is a technique that provides a solution-based approach to
solving problems. Design Thinking focuses on a five-stage model; empathise,
define the problem, ideate, prototype and test. Using these different tactics
has proved to be very successful for Mark Parker and Nike in general.

            Mark Parker can most likely be described as what business
consultant Jim Collins calls a Level 5 Leader. Parker is involved personally
with the development of new products and technologies. He continually pushes
his staff to keep looking for more ways to improve and adapt to changing
environments. Parker noted that he sees change as an opportunity and tells his
staff to get on the offensive. Also, unlike most other CEOs, Parker is more
introverted than extroverted. This allows him to stay humble and continue to
succeed every day at Nike.

            New leadership styles and methods are being explored
every day. Mark Parker uses different leadership styles depending on the
problem or circumstance. Parker says that some instances require him to be hard
and fast and using top down leadership helps him prosper. Parker likes to look
for ideas from the bottom. Although he uses top down leadership for direction
to his staff and peers, he believes that ideas can come from anywhere. Parker
likes to pull ideas from his junior team members and spotlight them because,
after all, small projects or ideas can flourish into huge billion dollar
concepts. Because Parker does not believe in micromanaging, he trusts his
staff, asks lots of questions and explores many different types of methods and
techniques to expand Nike.

            As the CEO of Nike, Parker has to live and breathe the
Nike mission and vision, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every
athlete”. Parker not only strives to present this to the customers, he also brings
this into his leadership style. Parker encourages his staff to come up with
excelling ideas and innovate in their everyday work. As a leader that works
alongside his peers instead of over them, Parker designs footwear and is
constantly brainstorming ideas. Parker adorns his office with a mix of
contemporary art, sculptures and an array of miniature Nike shoes to inspire
new ideas with different views of world culture. Being fully mindful and
committed to the vision and purpose of his company, Parker can serve Nike to
his fullest abilities.

            In conclusion, Mark Parker is an extremely capable and
excelling leader and CEO. From being named Business Journal’s 2014 CEO of the
Year to Fortune’s Business Person of the Year in 2015, Parker has been an
incredibly successful businessman. Mark Parker took Nike to the next level and
aided them in achieving greatness. Overall, one can learn a lot from Parker’s
leadership style and how he went from good to great. Starting as a designer in
1979, moving up to the Division Vice President in 1987, Corporate Vice
President in 1989, General Manager in 1993, Vice President of Global Footwear
in 1998, co-president in 2001, CEO in 2006 and finally chairman, president and
CEO in 2016, Parker portrays persistence, dedication, patience and victory.
Whether it is problem solving, creativity or leading, Mark Parker seems to have
it all.