The blog doesn’t often comment on management issues. But one interesting article has caught my eye today. A major study reported in the Financial Times suggests that ‘leadership teams were four times as important as leaders in the process of developing strategy’. And it quotes Lee Scott, Wal-Mart’s CEO as saying that ‘I don’t run the company…as CEO, if you have to get up every morning and tell people what to do, then you’ve got the wrong people in the jobs’.
I think the chemical industry may soon find itself putting this insight to the test. As the economic downturn worsens, so it will show up those companies and Boards that are essentially ‘one man bands’. Recent boom conditions have rewarded risk-taking, and it is no surprise that the idea of the ‘CEO as hero’ has developed in response. But in today’s more uncertain world, the study suggests that leadership should be considered ‘a team sport’, where tasks are distributed ‘far and wide’ to the most appropriate people.