Spring EO Retreat: Are We Prepared to be Great Leaders?
‚ÄúI have learned that nothing is certain except for the need to have strong risk management, a lot of cash, the willingness to invest even when the future is unclear, and great people.‚ÄùIt is a rare leader who hasn‚Äôt at some point asked, in the words of the musician¬†David Byrne, ‚ÄúHow did I get here?‚Äù And perhaps as a follow-up, ‚ÄúWhat do I do about it?‚Äù It‚Äôs assumed that if one works diligently, takes appropriate risks, is relatively smart and somewhat fortunate, one will be rewarded with a leadership role...and yet, leadership is not a reward‚Äîit is a profoundly difficult and demanding pursuit in of itself, with no absolute guarantee or formula for success. Just having a leadership title, doesn‚Äôt mean you can lead. Too often, leadership jobs are given to people purely based not on their leadership skills, but on their skills in other areas‚Äîsay as an analyst, an asset manager, or in acquisitions. As an added challenge, the job description for ‚Äúleader‚Äù is ephemeral at best, with little precise definition of the skills and behaviors required. There are certainly plenty of experts who explain the secrets to leadership. Politicians, philosophers, military leaders, spiritual guides, and CEO‚Äôs all have their particular insights about what makes good leadership happen‚Äîwhether it‚Äôs strength of character, confidence, vision, open-mindedness, ability to listen, charisma, empathy, or will-to- power, there is some wise figure somewhere telling us what we should or shouldn‚Äôt do if we are to become a successful leader... To read the rest of the report, click here.
‚Äì Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO of GE