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Don't hire the wrong CEO.
Harv Bus Rev. 2000 May-Jun; 78(3):170-6, 218.HB

Abstract

A disturbing trend is going on in corporate America--CEO churning. Top executives are rapidly coming and going, keeping their jobs for increasingly shorter periods of time. The reason? Most boards are so unclear about the definition of leadership, they are picking the wrong people. CEO churning needn't be, say leadership experts Warren Bennis and James O'Toole. Boards can reverse the trend by following several guidelines. First, boards must come to a shared, accurate definition of leadership. Simply put, leaders must be able to move human hearts--to challenge people and make them want to scale steep peaks. Second, boards should strengthen the CEO selection process by resolving strategic and political conflicts amongst themselves. An agreed-upon strategic direction will make choosing the CEO with the right vision for the company that much easier and can clarify the job for the new CEO. Third, the board needs to measure every CEO candidate's soft qualities. Economic measures are important, but integrity, the ability to provide meaning, and the talent for creating other leaders are critical. Fourth, boards should beware of candidates who act like CEOs. Charisma and glossy pitches can be enticing, but they're rarely the stuff of true leadership. Fifth, boards should accept that real leaders will more than likely overturn the status quo. Sixth, boards need to know that insider heirs usually aren't apparent, and finally, boards should always avoid making a hasty decision. Hiring the right CEO is a slow process at best. Ultimately, the surest way for boards to pick the right CEO is to cultivate and nurture talent in the making.

Authors

No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

11183978

Citation

Bennis, W, and J O'Toole. "Don't Hire the Wrong CEO." Harvard Business Review, vol. 78, no. 3, 2000, pp. 170-6, 218.
Bennis W, O'Toole J. Don't hire the wrong CEO. Harv Bus Rev. 2000;78(3):170-6, 218.
Bennis, W., & O'Toole, J. (2000). Don't hire the wrong CEO. Harvard Business Review, 78(3), 170-6, 218.
Bennis W, O'Toole J. Don't Hire the Wrong CEO. Harv Bus Rev. 2000 May-Jun;78(3):170-6, 218. PubMed PMID: 11183978.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Don't hire the wrong CEO. AU - Bennis,W, AU - O'Toole,J, PY - 2001/2/24/pubmed PY - 2001/9/21/medline PY - 2001/2/24/entrez SP - 170-6, 218 JF - Harvard business review JO - Harv Bus Rev VL - 78 IS - 3 N2 - A disturbing trend is going on in corporate America--CEO churning. Top executives are rapidly coming and going, keeping their jobs for increasingly shorter periods of time. The reason? Most boards are so unclear about the definition of leadership, they are picking the wrong people. CEO churning needn't be, say leadership experts Warren Bennis and James O'Toole. Boards can reverse the trend by following several guidelines. First, boards must come to a shared, accurate definition of leadership. Simply put, leaders must be able to move human hearts--to challenge people and make them want to scale steep peaks. Second, boards should strengthen the CEO selection process by resolving strategic and political conflicts amongst themselves. An agreed-upon strategic direction will make choosing the CEO with the right vision for the company that much easier and can clarify the job for the new CEO. Third, the board needs to measure every CEO candidate's soft qualities. Economic measures are important, but integrity, the ability to provide meaning, and the talent for creating other leaders are critical. Fourth, boards should beware of candidates who act like CEOs. Charisma and glossy pitches can be enticing, but they're rarely the stuff of true leadership. Fifth, boards should accept that real leaders will more than likely overturn the status quo. Sixth, boards need to know that insider heirs usually aren't apparent, and finally, boards should always avoid making a hasty decision. Hiring the right CEO is a slow process at best. Ultimately, the surest way for boards to pick the right CEO is to cultivate and nurture talent in the making. SN - 0017-8012 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/11183978/Don't_hire_the_wrong_CEO_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -