Великих менеджеров приглашают управлять великими компаниями. Почему же не получается? Профессор Сидней Финкельштейн описывает семь привычек неуспешных СЕО. Поучимся на чужих ошибках?
Dartmouth Professor Sydney Finkelstein first wrote about the Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives 8 years ago in “Why Smart Executives Fail.”
When I wrote about the habits last month, I had no idea that the post would strike such a nerve with readers generating over 2 million page views and counting.
The number one question readers asked me after reading that post was: who are some more modern-day examples of CEOs and executives who suffer from these different habits? And how can we identify CEOs with these habits today – in order to avoid investing in them?
I’m familiar with the habits as I studied and consulted with Syd on them for a number of years. I instinctively keep them in mind as an investor when considering taking a position in a company.
So who are some recent examples of CEOs who have failed at these 7 habits?
I present to you the people I would consider Charter Members of the Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful CEOs Hall of Shame. Each of these men and women have earned the right to be part of this distinguished club. Many of their choices have been befuddling. Their attitudes at times have been head-scratching. Their arrogance has been breath-taking.
Let’s go through them by habit. And keep in mind that the worst CEOs always start by exhibiting one of these habits and then see them snowball into other habits over time.
Habit # 1: They see themselves and their companies as dominating their environment
In my post last month, people questioned if some of the habits that Finkelstein’s research showed to be a cause of future failure weren’t actually positive. Like this first habit for example. Some people asked: Isn’t it a good thing that the CEOs think they and their companies can “dominate” their competitors? Isn’t self-confidence and the desire to run through walls — like an excited football team before a game — a good thing?
Well, Finkelstein’s research showed that – in small doses – all of these 7 habits were positive things. However, they all become negatives when taken to extremes. You never want self-confidence to cross the rubicon and become self-delusion. The best leaders always have a clear sense of reality as it is today, even though they might be trying to move towards a different vision for the organization’s future.
The CEOs who fail at Habit 1 have a ‘King Midas Complex.’ They think that anything they touch will turn to go. They believe they can succeed in any business that they enter – no matter if they or the company have any relevant experience in it. They believe that they’ve been successful before and can do it again – no matter the industry. Signs of this habit are when a company over-expands – usually through doing too many acquisitions that they can’t digest.
Hall of Shame members here include John Chambers at Cisco (CSCO) and Meg Whitman - who is currently the CEO of HP (HPQ) – who exhibited this trait at eBay (EBAY).
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