Friday, January 04, 2008

...of bad people rising to the top

I just opened the 2008 winter issue of the Sloan School of Management, Massachusett Institute of Technology (MIT) Journal on my gmail and thought perhaps you may like to read this executive summary of an interesting area/topic most people or shall I re-word it, as a topic politically incorrect to discuss..heheh...enjoy Terry Leap's take on 'wolves in sheeps clothing'....
When Bad People Rise to the Top
Terry Leap
Topic: Leadership and Organizational Studies
Reprint 49214; Winter 2008, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 23-27

Observers are often amazed when executives with impressive track records are mysteriously transformed into corrupt and tyrannical monsters once they become chief executive officers. In truth, these executives often had serious character flaws that were either hidden or ignored for years. Corporate boards and search committees are not likely to detect personality problems of promising CEO candidates simply by examining their resumes or by conducting standard job interviews. This raises the question of how corporate boards or CEO search committees can penetrate the facade of an upwardly mobile executive who is, in reality, a wolf in sheep's clothing.What danger signals do these individuals exhibit and what measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of hiring a dysfunctional CEO? The author identifies eight potential danger signals including: an obsession with acquiring prestige, power, and wealth; a proclivity for developing grandiose strategies with little thought toward their implementation; and a fondness for a data-driven management style that overshadows or ignores a broader vision. Even sterling CEOs occasionally exhibit one or more of the danger signals described here. Potentially bad CEOs, however, usually possess several of these characteristics, and they exhibit them repeatedly.There is no ideal method for selecting a CEO, and there may be no executive position that provides a true test of a person's fitness to assume the top job, but there are several ways that a company can limit its risks when deciding on a CEO. Boards are usually cautious when looking at CEO candidates from outside the organization. They are more likely to be lulled into a sense of complacency, however, when considering an internal candidate. Some suggestions for screening prospective CEOs include disregarding the time-tested rule that past success is a predictor of future success, performing a thorough background check that focuses on a candidate's integrity and interpersonal skills and using experience-based interviews to test CEO finalists.

Terry Leap is a professor of management at Clemson University. He is the author of Dishonest Dollars: The Dynamics of White-Collar Crime (Cornell University Press, 2007). Comment on this article or contact the author through


sheida said...

so my dear, what are you trying to imply.. that those who are searching/recruiting CEOs should go beyond skin deep!

Khaeruddin Sudharmin said...

nope,wasn't implying anything. Just sharing that professor's thinking. Hard to say really. He may be right he may be wrong. But as u r already probably aware, there are no rights or wrongs in depends. Yes, perhaps headhunters, shrinks should go slightly underneath the skin...hahaha..if you know what I meanlah...