Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What's in a Leader? (A View from Corporate America)

Recent focus on board activism and chief executive turnover would have you believe that these are particularly difficult times for CEOs and that the job of a CEO is more challenging than it has ever been. The fact is, the job of a CEO has always been a highly complex task.

In our over 30 years of experience in dealing with leadership issues and education, we have always emphasized the importance of innovative and flexible leadership that is adept at adjusting to changing times and circumstances. As such, over the years, we've selected and awarded leaders based on their ability to take calculated risks and alter an industry, all the while delivering continued shareholder value, built on a strong ethical foundation. Good CEO leaders have operated like this for years.

We are of the belief that great leaders are those that are able to exercise the right leadership traits at the right time to realize the best results.

As leaders, we all know that there are times when we need to take risks, and there are times that we ought to avoid risks. Then, there are times we have to be firm and lead with conviction, and there are times when we need to be a team player. Great leaders know when to balance these traits based on company circumstances.

These days, stakeholder relations, business ethics and corporate social responsibility are top of mind. However, those of us who have been in the business long enough know that personal accountability and brand reputation have always been vital leadership concerns. As such, there's never been a time where ethical leadership was not a part of our evaluation criteria.

Read more here.

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