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John D. Rockefeller as an Effective Business Leader

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John D. Rockefeller was a man who went after what he wanted. It can be said he was an effective business leader based on the things he accomplished not only for himself, but the economy as well. John owned his own oil company and then went on to create opportunity for the economy by increasing advancements in gasoline, manufacturing, and jobs. John did not gain these opportunities without dishonesty and causing struggle for many despite the benefit. It is hard to say if the outcome would have been any different had he led a more honest take-over, but then again, we may not have effectively advanced as quickly.

During the nineteenth century, John “accumulated a fortune for his Standard Oil Company” (Goldfield 17.1.1). The business and need for oil expanded, which prompted him expanding and relocating down south to Texas. He did not stop at the fortune of his own company. John proceeded to buy and merge his competition, which is called “horizontal integration” allowing him and his company to monopolize the industry (Goldfield 18.1.2). This was a smart move because it contributed to him being an effective business leader as he increased his ownership of the industry from within, he worked. However, he did not do this alone and acquired support from investment bankers like J.P. Morgan so that he was in control of 90 percent of the nation’s oil refining by 1890 (Goldfield 18.1.2). John took no issue with using his position to organize the industry in a more efficient manner and weed out what was no longer going to bring sufficient profit. An effective business leader needs to be able to step up and make these decisions regardless of what they entail.

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Soon after in the 1900’s, the internal combustion engine was invented and automobile and truck manufacturing increased leading to the discovery of gasoline (Goldfield 18.1.2). This was the beginning of the expansion of further oil discovery, which increased rivalry for John. He once nearly monopolized the oil industry, but now with more locations being discovered it was ever expanding allowing others to take part in the industry.

These corporations that John had a part in could be seen as a negative and positive because they “provided abundant jobs, but they firmly controlled working conditions, especially for those who worked with their hands instead of their brains” (Goldfield 18.1.3). There was a high job demand but the hours, salaries, and conditions that the unskilled workers were subjected to was appalling. Sometimes the conditions were left unsafe to cut cost meaning there would be even more lives lost unnecessarily all so the companies could make more profit (Goldfield 18.1.3). Most were barely able to get by while greed controlled these companies.

Overall, a lot of good resulted from John D. Rockefeller and his leadership. I do think he was an effective business leader despite some of his flawed approaches. When there are opportunities to make advancements in one’s career and offer job opportunities then one should want to do so in an admirable way. John tended to acquire deals dishonestly as well as endanger workers for a profit causing his character to be questioned.

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John D. Rockefeller as an Effective Business Leader. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 28, 2023, from
“John D. Rockefeller as an Effective Business Leader.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
John D. Rockefeller as an Effective Business Leader. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Jan. 2023].
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