Leadership – its a team thing

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.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. He also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry and the global economy over the next 12 – 18 months. It looks behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in critical areas such as oil prices, China and Emerging Markets, currencies, autos, housing, economic growth and the environment. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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