Home Depot’s Brenneman: “You Can’t Afford To Think Too Much During A Turnaround”

In this edition of our Corporate Competitor Podcast, turnaround specialist Greg Brenneman sat down with Sports Illustrated's Don Yaeger to discuss how golf shaped his three decades of C-Suite experience.

Greg Brenneman is Home Depot’s Lead Director and Executive Chairman of CCMP Capital, one of the world’s leading private equity firms. His three decades of C-Suite experience include the highest-profile business turnarounds of all time.

As the CEO of Continental Airlines — a position he accepted when he was only 33 years old — Continental went from ranking last among all US airlines in key customer service metrics to 18th on Fortune’s list of “Best Companies to Work For.” He continued this trend as the CEO of Burger King, PwC Consulting, and Quiznos.

“You can’t afford to think too much during a turnaround,” Greg said, “Time is tight; money is tighter. If you sit around devising elegant and complex strategies and then try to execute them through a series of flaw-less decisions, you’re doomed.”

His acclaimed Harvard Business review article “Right Away and All At Once: How We Saved Continental” led to his book teaching his five steps to transform your business and enrich your life.

As a golfer and as a leader, Greg knows how important it is not to let one bad shot, or one bad moment, turn into two. In this episode, he teaches us how to ask better questions and get comfortable saying the three most uncommon words in the English language: “I don’t know.”


11:00  How to build a team structure that wins consistently.

19:00  How to find mentors in every aspect of life.

28:00  How to create a one-page plan for your life.

33:00  How to increase curiosity.

Check out the full Corporate Competitor Podcast interview archive and subscribe to new episodes.

Over the last 30 years, longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated and 11-time New York Times Best-Selling Author Don Yaeger has been blessed to interview the greatest winners of our generation. He has made a second career as a keynote speaker and executive coach, discerning habits of high performance to teach teams how to reach their full potential.