From a list of 2,400 executives who commanded the world’s 1,000 largest publicly traded companies over the last 15 years, senior partners at McKinsey consultancy Vikram Malhotra, Scott Keller and Carolyn Dewar came up with 67 CEOs with above-average performance.
The CEOs were interviewed and, from there, the consultants listed the six attitudes of the best leaders.
Steering the company, aligning the organization, mobilizing through leaders, managing one’s own effectiveness, connecting with stakeholders and engaging the board of directors are the responsibilities that the best executives have taken on.
The partners then unraveled the theme in the book CEO Excellence – The Six Mindsets that Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest, a bestseller not yet released in the country.
To Estadão, Malhotra says that, in an uncertain and fast-changing world, the CEO’s job is increasingly difficult. To deal with this, they need to focus on “doing what only they can do”. Below, read excerpts from the interview.
Of the six attitudes, which is the most difficult to adopt?
Great CEOs embrace the six, and they do it well and all the time. But I see three as the most difficult.
The first is to guide the company towards a bold posture, especially in this dynamic and challenging world.
The second is about talent: promoting the best in the company, recruiting the best from outside, and getting the most out of each one.
The last is managing your own effectiveness and having the mindset of doing what only you can do. When you become CEO, you have so much on your plate that if you don’t embrace it, it’s easy to get dragged into a situation where you’re running the business on a day-to-day basis.
How far should they risk?
Great CEOs take responsibility for being bold, but they also assess risk exceptionally.
What Roberto Setubal did at Itaú, transforming a small bank into a regional power, required a bold vision.
But there were also important risk assessments when buying and merging companies, when expanding into other countries.
More than half of senior executives say that the top echelon of companies is underperforming. Why that?
I asked CEOs what their biggest regret is, and 90% said they wished they had acted sooner on their talents.
Some had inherited a team that was part great and part mediocre, but people at the company wanted to keep the mediocre ones, so they did.
Others had inherited a team that had grown within the company and regretted not recruiting more outside the company.
The message from CEOs is that you need to change your team.
Some experts suggest that the job of CEO can be too much for one person to handle. Mr. do you agree?
True, the job is becoming more complicated. One reason is that companies are getting bigger and more complicated.
But I don’t think we’re heading in the direction that it’s going to be a huge amount of work for one person. What the CEO needs is to focus more and more on the six dimensions we’ve described.
Source: CNN Brasil
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