A Different Kind of CEO?

A more integrated leader? A post conventional CEO? Chad Dickerson, CEO of the online commerce site, Etsy, may well fit these descriptions. At least his mindset about leading from the top reveals some of the contours we look for in a 21st century leader. In an interview for the On Leadership section of the Washington Post he had some interesting things to say. I have picked out five that particularly caught my attention. His first annual performance review as CEO was in the form of a … [Read more...]

Once Again, It’s All about a Leader’s Maturity

A lot of the coaching and speaking I do these days involves the close relationship between level of adult development (maturity, integration) and level of effectiveness as a leader. This approach represents one of what I think are two cutting edges in the field of leadership development today (the second edge: the emergence of neuroscience + leadership). Now a new study has been published by the Ashbridge Business School in the UK in collaboration with the University of Cape Town, under the … [Read more...]

Developing Leaders for the Horizon

They say Wayne Gretzky was a step ahead of other players because he skated to where the puck was going to be. Are you developing your up-and-coming leaders for where your markets and your environment are going to be? Will your leaders be prepared for the daunting complexity that's coming? Or are you preparing them for today or maybe just the next year or two? The Leadership Circle, whose 360 assessment profile and Culture Survey we use with our clients, says that even today's (forget about … [Read more...]

Another Slice on the Best CEO’s

Adam Bryant writes a column in the New York Times called The Corner Office. He has selected 70 of the over 200 interviews he has done with CEO's for his column and put some core insights from these into a book, The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEO's and How to Lead and Succeed. You can hear a short interview of Bryant in a recent issue of Knowledge@Wharton. In addition to sharing the CEOs' lessons and tips around both managing and leading, the author distilis five … [Read more...]

TED Talks Videos Worth the Manager’s Eyeballs

If you haven't yet run across TED Talks, I heartily recommend you check them out. "TED" stands for technology, entertainment & design. The organization began way back in 1984 and calls itself "a nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading." It holds two main conferences each spring, plus a global conference in the summer, and licenses a number of smaller programs held around the world. Experts and thought leaders from many disciplines present at these conferences. They are filmed and then … [Read more...]

What Women Bring to Leadership

The BBC's Katty Kay and ABC's Claire Shipman co-authored a book a couple of years back called Womenomics. In it they cite, among other things, a number of companies where the presence of women in among top leadership had a positive effect on the firm's financial success. For example: Accounting firm Ernst & Young's research found that companies with more women in senior management make more money. McKinsey & Co. found that greater gender diversity in management of European firms … [Read more...]

Interesting Things Google Does re Its People

I recently attended a presentation by Shannon Deegan, Google's Director of People. Now, a lot has been written about this company and how it is up there in the stratosphere of "best places to work," as decreed by Fortune magazine and others. Not surprisingly, Google received around 2 million resumés last year and filled 5000 positions. And growth? They have grown from zero to 25,000 employees in just eight years. Here are a few points, in no particular order, that stood out for me from … [Read more...]

The Best Leaders: a Paradox

In his epochal book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins talked about "Level 5" leaders, the ones who generate the very best results, consistently, over time. Most interesting is that they embody seemingly opposite characteristics. On the one hand, they are modest, humble and self-effacing. Yet in the same person dwells a ferocious resolve to have the organization they lead achieve great results. Research from The Leadership Circle reveals the same dichotomy in the most effective leaders: … [Read more...]

Leadership Lessons from the Top 20 Corporations

The respected consulting firm, Hay Group, has just announced the release of its 6th Annual Best Companies for Leadership study. The top 20 are major corporations with a global presence. Collectively, over the last five years, they have generated shareholder returns that are 36 times better than those from the Standard & Poor 500 companies. To start with, it is worth noting the overall conclusion from the survey: "The Top 20 Best Companies for Leadership are at the forefront of a … [Read more...]

Choose Stewardship Over Entitlement

Most of us have had the experience, at least once in our career, of working for a boss who loved his/her role because it was all about: I'm special (after all, they made me the boss) I deserve extra respect (because I'm special, of course) I have real power (try opposing me and you'll feel the brunt of it) I own this place (let's be clear, this is my operation) I'm more important than my staff (not really, but…well, I guess so) This screams entitlement!, I'm sure you would agree. … [Read more...]