DTE Energy (A): Becoming a Transformational Leader: Gerry Anderson, Chairman and CEO

by: Robert Quinn

Publication Date: May 14, 2018
Length: 8 pages
Product ID#: 1-456-355

Core Disciplines: Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

Partner Collection:

Available Documents

Click on any button below to view the available document.

Don't see the document you need? Don't See the Document You Need?
Make sure you are registered and/or logged in to our site to view product documents. Once registered & approved, faculty, staff, & course aggregators will have access to full inspection copies and teaching notes for any of our materials.


Need to make copies?

If you need to make copies, you MUST purchase the corresponding number of permissions, and you must own a single copy of the product.

Electronic Downloads are available immediately after purchase. "Quantity" reflects the number of copies you intend to use. Unauthorized distribution of these files is prohibited pursuant to term of use of this website.

Teaching Note

This product has a teaching note available. Available only to Registered Educators. Please login to view it.


This case describes DTE Energy CEO Gerry Anderson’s transformation from a hard-nosed, “old school” leader to an authentic, purpose-driven leader implementing positive change. Students follow along as Anderson begins re-thinking his approach to leadership from a cost-focus to a more holistic view that employees are not “simply factors of production” and that management by edict was not sustainable.  But just as Anderson is slowly earning employees’ trust, the recession of 2008 hits and DTE faces a potential loss of $175 million. Anderson is confronted with the biggest challenge of his career: should he lay off a large portion of the workforce to save the company? Such a move would undermine all he had been working toward in his new leadership style and would destroy the trust he had been trying to build in the company, but his management team sees no alternative. What should Anderson do?

This is Case A of a three-case series which can be taught sequentially or as stand-alone cases.  The cases describe the organizational transformation of energy utility company DTE Energy into a positive organization, focusing first on the personal transformation of DTE’s CEO, Gerry Anderson (Case A); then on the transformation of the company (Case B) and finally on DTE Energy’s advancement to the “next level” – positive social issues to improve the wider community and societal context in which the company operates (Case C).


Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Contrast how a leader’s mental map must change to move from being a conventional leader to becoming a positive leader
  • Articulate benefits of positive leadership