Tag Archive for ‘Leadership’
The forced resignations of executives at Lockheed Martin and Best Buy – along with the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus – raise questions about the values boards reinforce with their leaders. Columnist Gael O’Brien says many critical qualities – emotional intelligence, authenticity, self awareness, and stakeholder-focus — are often not included in the process.
Leaders who are hyperactive — doing more and more, faster and faster – in their response to an ever-changing, complex world are less likely to be innovative and are more vulnerable to making ethical mistakes, says a thought leader on leadership development. Columnist Gael O’Brien speaks with Kevin Cashman about his new book – The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forward.
Pay packages for CEOs of U.S.-based companies continue out of control, writes columnist Gael O’Brien, with boards often succumbing to “fear-based” compensation practices that undermine the potential for collaborative leadership and sustainability. She notes new research which disputes conventional wisdom that CEOs can easily move to the next company if not paid well. “Tackling excessive CEO compensation,” O’Brien writes, “is the first step in creating a new normal.”
A damning new report on the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State shows that it was preventable, says columnist Gael O’Brien. “Whether it is child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, fraud or some other crime, one of the great enablers or deterrents to crisis is the culture of an organization,” she writes. “The unpleasant truth is it can happen anywhere a culture doesn’t resist.”
In their new book – How Will You Measure Your Life? – Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen and his co-authors suggest that if students of business “take the time to figure out their life’s purpose, they’ll look back on it as the most important thing they will have discovered.” An excerpt from the book focuses on the importance of staying true to one’s personal principles and “why 100 percent of the time is easier than 98 percent of the time.”
When we think of bullying, school kids come to mind. But columnist Gael O’Brien reports that bullying is also a growing problem on the job. By one estimate, more than 54 million people will be bullied in U.S. workplaces this year. The toll can be high for individuals and organizations. “It creates such a toxic environment,” says one executive,”that it undermines anything you are trying to accomplish from a business perspective.”
John Elkington thinks that if busy people insist on getting all their knowledge in 20-second sound-bites, they are unlikely to be open to the sort of deep conversations that the sustainability agenda requires. The path to great leadership, he suggests, may involve what one executive calls “constructive discomfort.”
With the death of long-time football coach Joe Paterno, Penn State enters a new stage of its crisis stemming from criminal sex abuse charges against a former assistant coach. Columnist Gael O’Brien thinks the university’s trustees have made numerous mistakes and says the institution now must learn “how to tolerate discomfort with unflattering headlines while the focus is on trust building, not brand building.”
While there’s no excuse for recent leadership scandals, Art Stewart writes, “it is also irresponsible to dismiss outright our own role in engendering a culture of duplicity, incompetence, and corruption as if it all could manifest from unsupported solo acts.”
The sudden dismissal of a chief executive has seemingly become commonplace practice at big companies. But columnist Gael O’Brien says the firing of a CEO and how he or she leaves their position often reveals a lot about them, their bosses, and their organization. In the end, she writes, “shareholders aren’t served by blame games.”