Volume 7, Issue 2
In This Issue >
Message Leadership in a The Challenges and Distinguishing
From the Time of Crisis Opportunities of Crisis Characteristics of
Editor Successful Leaders
P. 1 P. 5 P. 9
Message From the Editor
This is a different kind of dependent cogs in real-time who succeed in tough
Spotlight from any we’ve global ecosystems. times? What kind of
published previously. We’ve changes must be made
chosen to focus this edition Once it was a cliché, but and how fast? What are the
on a single subject of critical
now it is true: a sneeze in strategies proven successful
concern to all of us – the São Paulo causes a cold in by experience?
challenge of Leadership In Shanghai. Suddenly, all over
A Time of Crisis. the world, even the best run This is a global crisis, and
companies are watching Boyden is a global compa-
Not since World War II have core customers disappear ny, with 70 offices in 40
we experienced economic and credit dry up. Entire countries. We’ve taken full
conditions like these. Former industries are in retreat. advantage of Boyden’s
presidential advisor David global network, engaging
Gergen uses the term “per- In crisis it is the charge of exemplary leaders from vir-
fect storm” to describe the leadership to guide organi- tually every continent to help
economic tsunami that has zations to calmer seas, sus- answer these critical ques-
come crashing down tainable strategies, and tions. In addition we’ve
on virtually all markets and renewed profitability. But the reached out to thought
sectors around the world. severity of this crisis raises leaders such as Professor
And though some may say important questions for all David Gergen, currently
they saw the tsunami com- those involved in assuring Director of The Center for
ing, it exploded and spread that organizations have the Public Leadership at
with bewildering speed. leadership they need. Harvard, and to Joseph
Daniel McCool, author of
The Internet has removed The questions to consider Deciding Who Leads
the protective barrier of dis- are: Is the current leader- and a BusinessWeek
tance. Globalization has ship able to handle the job? Contributing Editor.
connected formerly isolated Are new resources
markets and geographies, required? What are the We think you’ll be interested
transforming them into inter- characteristics of leaders and surprised by the
I. Leadership in a Time of Crisis Managing crisis is part of
the job of leadership. It is
“There are many sectors facing real diffi- not the only job of leader-
culties…we know this is part of a cycle. ship. But there is always a
But it may not be just temporary. What “crisis” of some kind going
we’re seeing now may be the way it will on somewhere in virtually
be from now on.” any organization or market
John Ellis, Managing Director or industry. It has even been
suggested that some crisis
“We want people who will be resourceful
and productive…good times or bad. In our The crisis may be internal or
view leadership for bad times ought to start it may be external. It is the
in good times.” job of leadership to prepare
Jules Kieser, Managing Partner for crisis. To analyze it. And
Boyden South Africa to activate the organization,
Volume 7, Issue 2
March 2009 Spotlight 2
initially to limit damage, but The real concern, suggests Director of Boyden South
also to leverage new oppor- Charan, is not simply that Africa. “That is the philoso-
tunities a crisis creates. conditions are so difficult. phy in developed countries,
The real concern is that we but not necessarily the best
If a crisis becomes big have no leaders in place way to go for emerging mar-
enough, however, and if today who have had the kets. In South Africa, it’s bet-
conditions are dangerous experience of managing in ter to hire for the long term.
enough, having people in times this bad. We want people who will be
place with the ability to lead resourceful and productive
and manage during extreme As a result, there is a new in tough times, good times
conditions becomes critical. imperative for organizations or bad.” Kieser adds, “In our
Leadership becomes, in to acquire the leadership view leadership for bad
fact, an absolute necessity ifthey need. There needs to times ought to start in good
the organization is to remain be much greater awareness times.”
viable. of the tough leadership that
is required to keep organi- As the dominos continue to
While crisis is normal, there zations viable in tough fall in market after market,
is nothing normal about times. How do requirements there are competing views
today’s crisis. “There are change for leaders already about what kind of strategies
many sectors facing real dif- in place? What kind of lead- will turn things around. But
ficulties and we know this is ership can turn a troubled there are two things almost
part of a cycle,” says John organization around? Are everybody agrees on. The
Ellis, Managing Director of these specialized skills or first is that this crisis will not
Boyden UK. “But the speed skills that every leader be resolved easily. Observes
with which it's happening is should have? John Ellis: “We know this is
scary," explains Ellis. part of the cycle. But it may
“Companies now want can- Conventional wisdom is that not be just a temporary part.
didates who have already companies need leaders It may be this way from now
had experience going with the ability to drive on.” The second is that few
through a massive change sales, profits and expansion geographies and organiza-
program. That is no longer a in good times. But in a cri- tions will escape the effects.
nice to have. That is now a sis, companies need lead- Tim McNamara, Managing
must have.” ers accomplished in reduc- Director for Boyden in
ing cost, conserving Washington, DC says, “This
Even Ram Charan, the resources, and managing is not a U.S. issue. This is
pragmatic business guru day-to-day. “Hire in good absolutely a global issue.
who mentors CEOs for times, fire in bad,” says What is happening here is
many of the world’s largest Jules Kieser, Managing happening everywhere.”
companies, has sounded
the alarm. Discussing his
new book Leadership in the
Era of Economic
describes global economic
conditions as equivalent to
“a hundred year flood.”
Scientists use this classifi-
cation to describe a danger-
ous convergence of condi-
tions so rare it happens
once a century.
Volume 7, Issue 2
March 2009 Spotlight 3
Professor David Boyden: Do leaders really matter?
Gergen talks about
Gergen: Leaders are “the X-factor” that sometimes makes the difference in bringing togeth-
a loss of trust in er a nation. . . or a company. We have new research from Harvard Business School show-
leadership and ing that, while CEOs may not be as big a difference in business as some believe, stronger
what kind of lead- CEOs continually make positive differences, which do add up over time. So does leader-
ship make a difference? Absolutely.
ers our world
needs now. Boyden: Given “the perfect storm” of global economic conditions, is the problem
that our leaders have been overwhelmed by impossible circumstances? Or has a
failure of leadership helped cause this crisis?
Gergen: There is growing recognition that we have worked ourselves into this crisis over
the last several decades. Living beyond our means, encouraging people to buy houses
they couldn’t afford, and so on. That doesn’t mean we haven’t had some good and great
CEOs. But I think we have to admit fundamentally there has been a failure in leadership.
Boyden: For the last three years you’ve helped run a survey to measure how much
we trust our leadership in the U.S. What have the results shown?
Gergen: This has been a real eye-opener. In the survey’s first year, 65 percent believed we
had a leadership crisis. Now it’s up to 79 percent. Seventy-nine percent believe we will
decline as a nation unless we get better leaders. And by the way, this last survey was com-
Photo: Tom Fitzsimmons pleted before our current economic problems began.
Advisor to four presidents, Boyden: Soon you begin a new course in leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of
David Gergen was among Government. Given all we’ve witnessed, how will you change what you teach?
the first to write about the
crisis in leadership. Today Gergen: I’ve been asking myself that same question.
he is an important voice in
defining what happens I do believe this is a teaching moment. It is important for the older generation to reach out
when leaders fail and what now to that next generation of leaders. We need to talk about the mistakes we’ve made.
to do about it. Now a pro- We need to pass on the lessons we’ve learned.
fessor at Harvard, he is
Director of The Center for One. Leaders matter. Two. Hubris brings leaders down. There’s no question for me. People
Public Leadership at (leaders) bring themselves down.
Harvard’s John F.
Kennedy School of They derail themselves.
Like Icarus trying to fly too
Government. Gergen also
serves as Senior Political
close to the sun, they forget “...people that know how to listen
Analyst for CNN and editor- do have an advantage when it
at-large for U.S. News &
We do have a wonderful comes to leadership.
minister at Harvard’s
Memorial Church, the
Reverend Professor Peter Because those are leaders who
J. Gomes, and he put it
very well in a sermon will always be learning. Those
recently. He said, “You
must master yourself
are leaders who will always be
before you can learn to growing. Those are leaders who
will be able to adapt.”
Volume 7, Issue 2
March 2009 Spotlight 4
Boyden: Is today’s world more
complex and challenging for our
leaders? Should they be leading
“Our biggest problems are differently?
no longer defined in terms Gergen: Today’s world is extraord-
of one place. They are not narily complex. For example, we are
learning just how much of our eco-
going to stop at a border. nomic problems have to do with
The toughest challenges
ahead involve the whole First, I think we have to begin
preparing people to live, to work and
world.” to lead across multiple sectors – in
business, and service and gover-
ment. To be prepared to work in any
or in all three in a lifetime.
Second, we have to learn to cooperate and collaborate across boundaries, beyond borders.
I think we have to start teaching people to see themselves as citizens of the world.
Not just citizens of a single country, but citizens of the whole world.
Why? Our biggest problems are no longer defined in terms of one place. They are not
going to stop at a border. The toughest challenges ahead involve the whole world.
Boyden: We now see more centralized control of the economies, more new funding
and new contracts coming from capitals in many countries. What will this mean for
our business leaders?
Gergen: I hope this is temporary. We don’t want to swing too far in this direction for too
But it is important for business leaders to learn how government works. It is important for
them to participate. And I don’t mean through lobbyists. I mean business leaders need to
go themselves. And get involved.
I can tell you that at least in Washington, we need more people with real business back-
grounds. I’d love to see people like Jack Welch (former CEO of General Electric) bring
more private sector skills to run stimulus programs in a business-like way.
Boyden: One last question, David: Is there any kind of “secret ingredient” for great
leadership that nobody talks about?
Gergen: I do think people that are curious and people that know how to listen do have an
advantage when it comes to leadership.
Because those are leaders who will always be learning. Those are leaders who will always
be growing. Those are leaders who will be able to adapt.
To learn more from David Gergen on leadership, visit his website at
Volume 7, Issue 2
March 2009 Spotlight 5
II. The Challenges and the Opportunities of Crisis
“Crisis forces people to look at performance. In fact, lead- Intel discovered home-users
ership may be easier in bad times than in good times. needed the extra power for
When you are leading in bad times, people know times multi-media computers. And
are bad. People know that changes must be made.” even though the global
Brian Renwick, Managing Director financial crisis has forced
Boyden China customers to cut back on
buying products that
depend on Intel chips, Intel
is not cutting back on
research and development.
Instead it is investing heavi-
ly in R&D so it will be ready
“A time like this gives us the opportunity when demand inevitably
to make the changes we’ve needed to goes back up in the future.
Dinesh Mirchandani, Managing Director Despite Charan’s concern
Boyden India that leaders today lack the
experience to manage
organizations through a
Crisis is always about crisis. The best new “100 year economic storm,”
change. business models rise from there are leaders who have
the wreckage and bitter les- significant exposure to
Leadership in crisis is about sons of older, failed busi- extremely volatile economic
managing change. ness models. environments. Companies
in emerging markets such
Leadership in extreme crisis Nowhere is this process as Brazil and in isolated
ultimately is about changing more visible than in the geographies such as South
your business. Silicon Valley. Bob Africa have learned hard
Concannon, Manager lessons in surviving eco-
Ram Charan believes that a Director for Boyden nomic disasters.
new reality is created during Chicago, and a veteran
extreme crisis, with new of boom, bubble and bust John deMarmon Murray,
customer requirements. cycles in technology, says Boyden’s Managing Director
Charan says businesses “What we’ve seen in for Brazil, says that country
must respond to those new California is that if you offers a successful model
requirements with new knock companies down for leadership during eco-
“Crisis is a two way models, new products, and enough times, it actually nomic crisis. Brazil went
street. It is destructive new styles of execution. creates more creativity.” wild with hyperinflation from
and it is constructive.” This is not easy for leaders 1980 to 1994. Leaders had
-Joseph McCool- or for the boards that over- A classic example is chip- to find ways to operate
Author of Deciding see them. But history sug- maker Intel. When lower businesses profitably even
Who Leads gests that having to change cost competitors from Asia though inflation rates
in response to crisis is not destroyed the market for reached as high as 1,000
necessarily a bad thing. Intel’s memory chips, Intel percent annually, and unan-
in desperation shifted to nounced maxi devaluations
“Crisis is a two way street,” programmable chips which plagued balance sheets and
says Joseph Daniel could be adapted for a cash flows. Today, Brazil’s
McCool, author of Deciding wider range of uses, includ- inflation rate is 6% a year.
Who Leads. “Crisis is ing personal computers.
destructive and it is con- Later when business didn’t “It took tough-minded and
structive.” Innovation buy the more powerful chips skillful leadership to bring
often increases in times of Intel continually developed, Brazil’s economy under
Volume 7, Issue 2
March 2009 Spotlight 6
when performance declines
during trough economies,
Renwick says Chinese com-
panies are more likely to
continue to stick with exist-
Multinational and U.S. com-
panies, of course, are
deeply focused on quarterly
results. As the current crisis
deeply impacts business
volume and profitability, and
as unemployment soars,
you’d assume turn-over of
CEOs and other C-level
executives would increase.
But surprisingly, that didn’t
happen in 2008, at least not
in North America.
Richard Jacowitz is Senior
Vice President of Liberum
Research, a service used by
investment bankers and oth-
control,” Murray says. “They knowledge. CEO’s and their ers to track changes of C-
took the country back to the Financial Directors must level executives at public
financial fundamentals and have extremely good cash companies. Jacowitz says
kept it there.” For example, management and hedging that since the United States
in 1981 General Motors skills.” economy officially went into
sent Rick Wagoner to help recession in December of
turn GM Brazil around. South Africa has also had 2007, turnover of C-level
Wagoner understood cur- lots of wide swings and executives has actually
rency markets and he shift- many crises. As a result, declined.
ed early to building small, says Boyden’s Jules Kieser,
highly efficient cars that “Leaders here manage with 2008 CEO turnover fell
used alternatives fuels like the memory of bad times in nearly 10 percent against
ethanol. (If General Motors mind. They are more likely 2007 figures. CFO turnover
had followed the same to reserve resources need- fell 14 percent. Overall C-
strategy in Detroit, General ed for survival and recovery level turnover was down
Motors might have avoided later.” Companies in emerg- nearly 15%.
current financial issues.) ing markets have learned
Today Brazil is energy-inde- they must always be pre- Even more surprising is that
pendent. It enjoys the tenth pared to shift operations as the global financial crisis
largest economy in the and strategies. “Here we has deepened, executive
world. And unlike the other lead through change all the turnover has continued to
developed giants, Brazil is time,” emphasizes Kieser. decrease. Q1 saw a drop of
not dependent on the U.S. 4.74 percent in C-level
for trade, because it opened “Crisis forces people to look turnover. Turnover in Q2
up large export markets for at performance,” observes dropped to 8.5 percent, then
soybeans and iron ore to Brian Renwick, Managing dropped 23 percent in Q3
countries such as China. Director of Boyden China. (against 2007 numbers).
Murray says, “Operations in But that does not mean And in the most recent
Brazil still requires special leadership will be changed quarter, Q4 of 2008, C-level
Volume 7, Issue 2
March 2009 Spotlight 7
turnover was 34 percent In terms of strategy, regard- may actually be easier in
less than it was in Q4 of less of who is leading, sur- bad times. People know
2007. vival often dictates that times are bad. People know
leaders and teams focus on that changes must be
Richard Jacowitz co-writes reducing costs and trimming made.”
a blog for Liberum called activities that don’t support
Management As Change the most core business and “A time like this gives us the
Agent (http://managemen- brand. But at the same time opportunity to make the
taschangeagent.blogspot.co operations are optimized, changes we’ve needed to
m). He recently wrote that leadership must also focus get done.” says Dinesh
despite a decline in execu- on core business strategies Mirchandani, Managing
tive mobility, 2008 still saw that will be need to succeed Director, Boyden India. “The
“a large number of high pro- when things turn around. terrorist attacks in Mumbai
file and significant executive have shaken everything up.
changes…that often impact- The opportunity of tomorrow Meanwhile with global eco-
ed their [companies’] overall is almost always nascent in nomic conditions now being
performance.” Jacowitz sug- the organizational crisis of felt, everything has just
gests that corporate man- today. The bad times are come to a grinding halt.
agement had saved their the best time to get ready People are fed up with a
own jobs by cutting corpo- for the better times that will lack of leadership. They are
rate expenses and head follow. Boyden’s Brian finally willing to do some-
count, but that Liberum Renwick thinks, “Leadership thing about it.”
expected executive turnover
to begin increasing as the
crisis continued to worsen
Why are boards not neces-
sarily in a hurry to change
out existing management?
One answer may lie in a
recent study that compared
the length of CEO tenure
with company performance
explains why. The longer
CEOs stayed in place, the
better their companies per-
form – at least up to ten
years. The paper by
Professor Anthony Williams
of Cass Business School in
London suggests that after
CEO tenure passes a
decade, company results
may begin to suffer.
(Another interesting obser-
vation is that the research
data shows internally
appointed CEOs may gen-
erate slightly better results
for companies than exter-
nally appointed CEOs.)
Volume 7, Issue 2
March 2009 Spotlight 8
Turning Crisis into a Is there a specific blueprint for leading through a crisis after the unthinkable has happened? A
2005 paper written at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government provides a pragmatic
Leadership Opportunity and easy-to-understand set of best practices for leading through a crisis.
A paper written by five Five members of the U.S. military researched three different crises in order to document success-
military officers who attended ful strategies for leadership in the worst of times. The three incidents included the Johnson &
Harvard’s Kennedy School Johnson Tylenol poisonings in 1982, the Malden Mills Fire in 1995, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks
of Government provides in 2001. These were basis for seven strategies described in their paper called “Crisis – A
a blueprint for how to Leadership Opportunity.”
lead through a crisis.
The seven strategies include:
1. Lead from the Front 5. Mitigate the Threat
2. Focus on the Core Purpose 6. Tell the Story
3. Build the Team 7. Profit from the Crisis
4. Conduct Continuous Planning
Leading from the front means immediately taking responsibility, being visible, and staying
accessible. Many Boyden clients, regardless of geography, mention “leading from the front” as
something leaders must do when times are tough.
Focus on the Core Purpose is about establishing the importance of the mission, aligning it with
reality, and giving meaning to the effort. Getting a crisis under control is hard and sometimes
terrifying work. Controlling a crisis requires turning a company around, and replacing old business
models with new. The paper quotes Friedrich Nietzsche as saying “He who has a ‘why’ can bear
almost any ‘how’.”
Build the Team is the central task for any leader, but building and maintaining teams is even
more important in a crisis. What leaders can do individually is never as important as what leaders
can inspire others to do. Building and maintaining teams involves inspiring trust and assuring
transparency and fairness.
Conduct Continuous Planning because situations don’t stop changing. Churchill said “In war
everything is on the move everywhere continuously.” Leaders must continuously re-evaluate and
plan for worse case scenarios. Ram Charan says this is how Dupont, one of his clients, was able
to completely reshape itself around the new economic reality between October of 2008 and
January of 2009.
Mitigate the Threat involves taking action quickly. Taking action (along with continuous planning)
requires gathering the best data from the best sources available at the time, listening deeply, and
then acting decisively.
Getting a crisis Tell the Story emphasizes the importance of communications in leadership. Everybody involved
under control is wants to understand what is happening and why. Telling the story in a simple, understandable,
and true way will be effective in focusing and integrating the support of internal teams, external
hard and some- teams and the community. Leaders should be trained to talk with media and use multiple commu-
times terrifying nications media, including the Internet. Look at how Al Jazeera used Twitter on the Internet to
out-communicate Israel among influential groups of Americans.
Profit from the Crisis means moving quickly to seize any opportunity that emerges after the
a crisis requires threat is mitigated. It emphasizes the leaders in crisis situations must continually “prepare for,
turning a compa- respond to, and learn from crises.”
ny around, and While every crisis and every organization may be unique, success in dealing with a crisis
replacing old almost always leaves an organization and its leadership stronger and better positioned for
(Crisis—A Leadership Opportunity is available for downloading from the Internet through most
with new. search engines.)
Volume 7, Issue 2
March 2009 Spotlight 9
III. Distinguishing Characteristics of Successful Leaders
“The first thing you need is a
strong ethical orientation in
Tim McNamara, Managing Director
Boyden Washington, DC
“The great leaders don’t run from change.
They embrace it.”
Bob Concannon, Managing Director
“This particular kind of
leader has an ability to focus
on business fundamentals
...and to look over the fence.”
What kind of leader is Dr. Dirk Friederich, Managing Partner
required in times of crisis? Boyden Frankfurt – Bad Homburg
Is one kind of person best
suited to lead in the best of
times? Is another and Though he himself holds emphasizes, “but there
entirely different kind of a doctorate, Friederich must be underlying ethics.
leader more appropriate to doesn’t consider education There needs to be less
lead in the worst of times? an issue. “What you’re greed, more transparency
looking for are entrepre- and in some situations per-
“Different attributes are neurial qualities. A leader haps a resetting of the
needed in different times, has to have the ability to moral compass.”
but that doesn’t necessarily look over the fence. You
mean you need different want someone who’s McNamara points to the
leaders,” says Jules Kieser flexible and understands trend for organizations to
at Boyden Johannesburg. different cultures. In Europe hire Chief Ethics and
“My feeling is you want the where we have legal limits Compliance Officers. But
same person, good times or on hiring and firing, global- that doesn’t mean
bad…a person who can see ization is a growing force. McNamara believes we
things coming.” The ability to outsource lack role models for leader-
is a big opportunity for ship in times of crisis.
Dr. Dirk Friederich, handling crisis.” “Look at Lee Iacocca who
Boyden’s Managing Partner saved Chrysler, Jack Welch,
in Frankfurt-Bad Homburg, Tim McNamara, Boyden’s or Colin Powell. Powell is
agrees. “It’s not good to Managing Director for a great leader, and he is
change your C-level Washington, DC, is clear an ethical leader. He is
executives. In any case, about priorities. “The first not a man who has ever
the most important quality thing you need is a strong thought in a ‘me first’ way.”
of leadership is character. ethical orientation in con-
With character you get ducting business. Yes, you Across the Atlantic,
loyalty, transparency, and have to have someone who Boyden’s John Ellis in
an ability to inspire and will really focus on enhanc- London says, “Some lead-
bring together the team.” ing shareholder value,” he ers are simply ‘fair weather
Volume 7, Issue 2
March 2009 Spotlight 10
sailors.’ If companies want ed with it. “Today, there is about leadership today
to find a person capable of an enormous amount of compared to ten years ago
turning things around, they talent available for hire. compared to eighty years
may have to rethink their However, there are very ago, the things that make
leadership.” He says the few people who have the leaders successful haven’t
important abilities are a full suite of capabilities changed. The big issue is
functional understanding required to lead a company change. That issue never
of the business issues in crisis.” goes away. The great lead-
involved and a complete ers don’t run from change.
awareness of current Boyden’s Bob Concannon They embrace it.”
operations. That means in Chicago says that leader-
not just managing from ship remains the most
the top, but managing important factor for compa-
closer at every aspect of nies struggling through a
the business from the bot- difficult economy. “You need
tom up. “They must be tough leadership, people
totally clear about what who can weather the storm.
needs to be done,” he You don’t want someone
says. “They must be able who can’t handle the risk.
to take people on that
journey.” “People talk about needing
hunters in good economies
Ellis says now the demand and farmers in bad
is for leaders who have economies.” Concannon
actual experience dealing believes companies should
with massive change, and not be quick to change
the people issues associat- leadership. “If you talk
Volume 7, Issue 2
March 2009 Spotlight 11
Joseph Daniel Boyden: When does the future of leadership start?
McCool: This global economic crisis is really making people question traditional leadership
McCool talks about methods and values. The future could arrive sooner than expected.
the next generation
of talent and Boyden: How will things change?
McCool: We are already seeing a new competitive dynamic. Foreign interests are buying
Leadership 2.0. into many sectors. Government (out of necessity) is becoming an active partner in private
sectors. Companies have to learn to do even more with less. Market forces are ricocheting
from geography to geography in search of more efficient production and more specialized
skills. Companies are being shocked into new and better business decisions.
Boyden: How are companies changing?
McCool: Companies are beginning to realize they need to think farther ahead. They are
beginning to moderate their excesses. They need to move from a binge-purge approach
with their workforce to a more sensible and sustainable operation. The “me first” school of
management leadership may have worn out its welcome.
Boyden: What about talent?
McCool: There is a lot of new talent available. Some are new and some are sort-of-new.
Some of the sort-of-new are actually experienced talent from the financial services sector.
Joseph Daniel McCool Access to sophisticated financial knowledge has not been available in the past, which will
is the author of be helpful to many companies. What we don’t know is what will happen when Wall Street
Deciding Who Leads talent finds out what Main Street pays. There will be a reckoning on this point, for sure.
and Contributing Editor
Boyden: Will the next generation of talent be different?
for BusinessWeek. McCool: The next generation of talent is already changing some rules. For one thing they
just aren’t interested in making super-sized salaries at the expense of killing themselves,
not having time with their families or harming the planet on which they live. They want to be
involved in processes and products that are green, sustainable, and make them feel good
when they get home at the end of the day. They want their tech to be “cleantech.” Despite
their smart phones and MP3 players, they are extremely people-oriented. They prefer to
work in companies committed to taking care of their teams.
Boyden: Do they have different capabilities?
McCool: This generation of talent is naturally skilled in leveraging technology and surfing
information. They are the ones who really know how to map and navigate the new competi-
tive landscape. Velocity is not an issue for them. Business is not as fast or complex as the
games they play on their PlayStations, Xboxes and Wiis. The demand for more speed in
corporate decision making is not a problem.
On the other hand they have zero interest in growth for growth’s sake. They’re more into
a shared approach to getting things done. This is beginning to feel a lot like Leadership 2.0.
They are as interested in leading from the side as in leading from the front.
Boyden: What’s really interesting?
McCool: Many current leaders are talking about rethinking growth, about redefining suc-
cess, and about redefining what’s required to lead today’s companies. I think there are a lot
of global companies that cannot be led by one person alone. The CEO role has become
too complex, too global, and too demanding for individuals. Individual executives need to
have the courage and honesty to acknowledge they can’t do it all.
Boyden: What are the lessons learned?
McCool: We all learned some bitter lessons from Enron and Tyco. (Enron and Tyco leader-
ship are doing serious jail time.) The new lessons learned come from Wall Street and the
financial sector. These are about setting false goals for too-large profits and too-fast
growth. Companies must be willing to confront the critical leadership issues standing in the
way of future growth and shareholder returns.
Boyden: What’s the bottom line?
McCool: Our present leadership and our future leadership are converging into a shared
view of the future. It looks like the dawn of a whole new era of leadership.