In our last post (Narcissists, Psychopaths and Other CEOs), we reviewed lessons from Professor Adrian Furnham on CEOs on the under-weighting of knowable negative factors to desired strengths in vetting CEOs. These negative traits often lead leaders to de-rail.

Lessons from My Own World

One of my clients is U.S. leader for a parent company in Europe. He has had 6 CEOs in 8 years All were seen as having desirable strengths, each de-railed for personal flaws or personal reasons which might have been discovered in better vetting.

Another client was the fourth CEO in 6 years at a major, public company operating around the globe. Again, each prior CEO de-railed for personal flaws, almost all related to ego, selfishness, low emotional intelligence, inability to listen.

In each case the Board who appointed these CEOs was dissatisfied with the then-current CEO and was so biased in favor of change, that they were in a hurry to achieve change even at a high cost.   The consequences were poorer than projected results, departures of superior talent, defection of customers and more.

The Choice on Tuesday

We have two flawed candidates for President of the United States. We have thirty years of data on the significant flaws of one of them and can reasonably predict how those will affect our own well-being and the circumstances under which de-railing may occur. The other’s flaws are  far less known, but we have a year of observing behavior and a year of research into his potential for de-railing. This could be viewed as a Hobson’s Choice (between lesser evils). However, the consequences for a poor choice are far greater for the nation than those for a single company.

I was a moderate Republican before I became an independent. My experience with leaders will dictate my vote. What will dictate yours?

That’s just my view. What’s yours?




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What Made jack welch JACK WELCH

How Ordinary People Become
Extraordinary Leaders

by Stephen H. Baum (Random House)

Most leaders of American companies started out as ordinary people. What prepared them for the top job?

Countless more ordinary people of equal talent never developed the leadership core required to run the show. Why not?

"Lessons for life about the core leadership traits of character, risk taking decisiveness and the ability to engage and inspire followers."
--Jim Clifton, CEO, The Gallup Organization


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