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Is the capacity for empathy a weakness in a CEO?

Is the capacity for empathy a weakness in a CEO? | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

In his new book, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, which came out last week, business journalist Brad Stone traces the connection between Bezos’ distinctive personality traits and Amazon’s work culture and organizational ethos, which he describes as “gladiatorial” and “notoriously confrontational”.


He cites Amazon employees who “advance the theory that Bezos, like Jobs, Gates, and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, lacks empathy.


The interesting question is whether effectiveness of a CEO increase with progressively lower people skills and more and more of an anal-retentive devotion to shareholder value that can see little else?


In one of the most famous studies of CEO psychology, titled Which CEO characteristics and abilities matter?Steven KaplanMark Klebanov and Morten Sorensen assessed the personalities of 316 CEOs and their company’s performances. “Success is more strongly related to execution, resoluteness, overconfidence-related skills than to interpersonal-related skills,” they concluded. In other words, a CEO who is warm, flexible, empathetic will not be as successful as another who is cold, inflexible and has no empathy. People like Bezos and Jobs were, in this sense, pretty much typical of the successful CEO personality type.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Extremely interesting commentary by G. Sampath. 


Supporting references: 





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David Hain's curator insight, October 24, 2013 6:00 PM

Fascinating, thanks Kennneth!

Roy Sheneman, PhD's curator insight, October 26, 2013 8:55 AM

The answer to this question is no...

LeadershipABC
Inspirational stories and valuable insight into management and leadership trends
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About LeadershipABC

About LeadershipABC | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

I collect gold nuggets on leadership/management, that I find useful, educational, and inspirational to others. 

 

It is no longer a futuristic vision to talk about a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business environment. It is the reality that most leaders face every day. 

The way we work is fundamentally under pressure and it is evident that leaders must develop new responses and capabilities to navigate in the world and stay relevant. 

The purpose of this site - LeadershipABC - is to help leaders rethink, redefine, and reshape their organizations and themselves to meet the challenges of the future.


My personal aim is to provide you with stories you can learn and grow from. The kind of stories that provokes personal reflection and constructive action. 


You're welcome to connect via: 

 

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kennethmikkelsen


Google+: https://plus.google.com/+KennethMikkelsen


Twitter: www.twitter.com/LeadershipABC

  

Enjoy!

 

Kenneth

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Reinventing Management

Reinventing Management | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

What is the future of management? Can management be reinvented to make it more effective as an agent of economic progress and more responsive to the needs of employees?

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Leadership is a process of social influence: it is concerned with the traits, styles, and behaviours of individuals that causes others to follow them. Management is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals. Or to put it really simply, we all need to be leaders and managers. We need to be able to influence others through our ideas, words, and actions. We also need to be able to get work done through others on a day-to-day basis.

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Michael Binzer's curator insight, July 10, 8:43 AM

Future management from a different perspective

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Strategic principles for competing in the digital age

Strategic principles for competing in the digital age | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

Digitization is rewriting the rules of competition, with incumbent companies most at risk of being left behind. Here are six critical decisions CEOs must make to address the strategic challenge posed by the digital revolution. 

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John E Smith's curator insight, July 8, 11:28 AM

Digital engagement is not a trial-error tool ... you need to think seriously about how you will use the various strategies and tools ...

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Management theory was hijacked in the 80s. We're still suffering the fallout

Management theory was hijacked in the 80s. We're still suffering the fallout | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

We know what makes companies prosper in the long term. They manage themselves as whole systems, look after their people, use targets and incentives with extreme caution, keep pay differentials narrow (we really are in this together) and treat profits as the score rather than the game. And it's a given that in the long term companies can't thrive unless they have society's interests at heart along with their own.


Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Good governance went out of the window when the Chicago school's reductive view of human nature took hold.

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Erwan Hernot's curator insight, July 6, 12:26 PM

Top managers and shareholders on one side and employees on the  other. Think it's past history (before the  fall of the Berlin Wall) ? Wrong. We're still in it.

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Social Leadership: Crossing Boundaries

Social Leadership: Crossing Boundaries | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

Our lives today weave between formal and social spaces, no longer defined by the four walls of the office or a clear distinction between technologies and communities. Social Leadership is a style suited to the Social Age: it’s about building reputation that leads into authority.


Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Excerpt from the blog post:


Within formal spaces, authority is hierarchical, often embedded in team and management structures and through official channels. 


Social authority communicates through social channels and communities and is socially moderated: granted and removed contextually. It’s reputation based and often crosses into social technologies: that which sits within our pockets and plays by the rules of Facebook and Twitter.

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David Hain's curator insight, July 4, 5:52 AM

#SocialCapital or #RelationshipCapital builds networked communities through technology, but only when underpinned by trustful behaviours. PS: @julianstodd a #mustfollow!!

Gary Bamford's curator insight, July 4, 8:29 AM

Leadership Jim but not as we know it ...

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 4, 12:56 PM

Leading should occur on the boundaries (eco-tones) in organization. Anthony Bryk and others suggested the role of School leadership was to work on the boundaries between School and community rather than micro-managing what went on in School. That almost sounds like John Dewey.

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Eight Must-Have Competencies for Future Leaders

Eight Must-Have Competencies for Future Leaders | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

Leaders tomorrow will succeed with a different skill set than that of today’s best. Smart leaders will spot the mid-career folks with greatest potential to become those outstanding future executives.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

In the June 2014 Harvard Business Review hiring guru Claudio Fernández-Aráoz says to spot those with high leadership potential look for four abilities:


  • Openness and curiosity
  • Recognition of new possibilities
  • Persuasion
  • An unstoppable drive


Daniel Goleman adds a few more distinguishing competencies  that set star leaders apart from mediocre:


  • Strategic Orientation – being able to think analytically and come up with a strategy.
  • Market insight – understanding the market and the business.
  • Results Orientation – the drive to achieve results through constant improvement as assessed by sound metrics.
  • Customer Impact – passion for pleasing customers and clients.
  • Collaboration and influence – working well with others, including influencing those not in one’s line of command.
  • Organizational Development – developing strengths for the company by recruiting, retaining, and developing future leaders.
  • Team Leadership – Building winning groups.
  • Transformation Leadership – leading the way toward new goals.
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Don’t Let the Short-Term–Long-Term Tension Drag Your Strategy Down

Don’t Let the Short-Term–Long-Term Tension Drag Your Strategy Down | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

Nearly 60 percent of all companies fail at the double act of sustaining both results and investment year in and year out. That’s because most corporate leaders address the short-term–long-term tension by seeking the right balance between today and tomorrow. When the two are out of balance, this means taking less of one in order to get more of the other. And it inevitably leads to a kind of corporate schizophrenia, where companies switch between visionary, manic investment and aggressive, “performance-oriented” retrenchment — often with a leadership change marking the end of one phase and the start of the other.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

How to navigate the twin demands of current performance and future investment.

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The Great Transformation - Lead Article for 2014 Drucker Forum

The article is intended to provide the backdrop for the 2014 Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna. It deals with the challenges and opportunities for management in the face of the gigantic changes that we are experiencing in our society. Technology is a game changer - yet it will lead down the wrong path if not accompanied the appreciation of the essence of what it means to be human. Humanist leaders must provide the context and grounding for a society that is in danger to become increasingly technology obsessed. Hence the call for a 2nd Renaissance.

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Leading Innovation is the Art of Creating ‘Collective Genius’

Leading Innovation is the Art of Creating ‘Collective Genius’ | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

As Linda Hill sees it, innovation requires its own brand of leadership. The coauthor of the new book Collective Genius discusses what's been learned from 16 of the best business innovators.


Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

"Innovation is a "team sport," not the act of a sole inventor. "Truly innovative groups are consistently able to elicit and then combine members' separate slices of genius into a single work of collective genius," the authors write.


Read also Collective Genius from HBR June 2014. 


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Joe Boutte's curator insight, June 23, 7:57 AM

I would also recommend Clay Shirky's "Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations" for a different perspective of crowdsourcing and innovation.  

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The Moral Bedrock Of Management

Interesting thoughts from Tom Peters. 

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How to Scale Up Excellence in an Organization

Stanford's Robert Sutton discusses the mind-set and strategies of companies that are most adept at building and spreading high standards.
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Building Smarter Teams

Building Smarter Teams | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

What if you could measure the intelligence of a group? What if you could predict which committees, assigned to design a horse, would end up with a camel, versus which would develop a thoroughbred - or a racecar?

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Checklist for the Agile Manager

In this presentation Jurgen Aleppo describes what the role of a manager is in an agile organization. I give a checklist of 12 topics that managers should concern themselves with.



Via Claude Emond
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Empowerment's curator insight, June 15, 10:24 AM

l'agilité est au coeur des actions stratégiques aujourd'hui

Katherine Prewitt's curator insight, June 16, 8:25 AM

great reminder of key concepts, inspiration...

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Why Your Life Needs A Mission Statement

Why Your Life Needs A Mission Statement | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

The same strategies used to create a business plan can tell you if you're on the right track in your career and personal life.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

How aligning your values with a mission statement can have powerful results.

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John Michel's curator insight, July 12, 1:53 AM

Finding joy in your career and life means knowing what you’re passions are. If you have trouble coming up with your list of passions, think about the best experiences you’ve had, what you do when you’re procrastinating, or what you daydream about.

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4 Ways Leaders Can Create a Candid Culture

4 Ways Leaders Can Create a Candid Culture | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

When leaders want to create an open culture where people are willing to speak up and challenge one another, they often start by listening. This is a good instinct. But listening with your ears will only take you so far. You also need to demonstrate with words that you truly want people to raise risky issues.


Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Listening matters. But sometimes you’ve got to open your mouth too and make positive statements to generate the safety people need.

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Even In An Age of Uncertainty, Managers Still Must Decide

Even In An Age of Uncertainty, Managers Still Must Decide | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

Most managers take it for granted that the world has become much more volatile and complex and that we need to constantly adapt.  The days when we could simply plan and execute a strategy and hope to effectively compete are long gone.



Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

In an age of disruption, the only viable strategy is to adapt.


Further reading: 


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The Renaissance We Need in Business Education

The Renaissance We Need in Business Education | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

Business education today is anachronistic in both how it is conducted and what its content focuses on. Our brick institutions have in no way caught up with what today’s technologies make possible in terms of virtual learning and individualized, customized instruction. More importantly, business education needs to evolve once again, revising its goals to educate leaders of the future who have a new set of skills: sustainable global thinking, entrepreneurial and innovative talents, and decision-making based on practical wisdom.

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Why Business Strategy is Changing

Why Business Strategy is Changing | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

A shift in strategic thinking is underway as boards come to realise that they must respond faster to the changes shaping the global marketplace. The old notion of a set five-year plan has been transformed by the use of more emergent strategies, where assumptions about the future are tested more frequently and, if a new direction is needed, the business is fluid enough to be able to adapt quickly.


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David Hain's curator insight, July 3, 7:40 AM

The future is emergent - agile business recognise this and change tack faster and with more empowerment.

Michael John Freestone's curator insight, July 5, 6:53 AM

Business Planning is so essential that those that don’t do this are doomed to failure. The greatest threat to a ship’s captain is not having detailed navigation charts to steer his ship through uncharted waters.   Likewise, the greatest threat to a business owner is not having a plan on how to steer his business through difficult periods of economic slowdown or catastrophic market changes without suffering shipwreck.  http://www.mjfgroup.biz/business-planning/

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The Lives and Times of the CEO

The Lives and Times of the CEO | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

Throughout modern business history, CEOs have faced challenges and pursued opportunities tied to the times in which they led.


Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

This StrategyQ article looks at the evolution of the chief executive officer from 100 years back to a quarter century ahead.

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Traits of Truly Agile Businesses

Traits of Truly Agile Businesses | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

Many organizations, in pursuit of growth, understand the need to be agile in every aspect of their business—from faster decision making to more flexible operations to collaborative ventures. Yet, there is often a gap between that awareness and cohesive action. The Accenture study on agility explores the common characteristics of agile businesses.


Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Read Accenture’s research to understand how leaders act to become more agile.

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Lisa McCarthy's curator insight, June 24, 6:47 AM

Good article on the "Agile Organisation".

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, June 27, 3:43 PM

Agile explained.

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Social Technology and the Changing Context of Leadership

Social Technology and the Changing Context of Leadership | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

Social technologies with their inherent democratic, anti-hierarchical quality easily transcend internal and external boundaries, suddenly creating a powerful thrust for horizontal collaboration and participation. They give each and every member of an organization a creative voice and enable real-time virtual connectivity in a way we have never seen before. This makes them a great catalyst for the organizational principles that are required by the new leadership context of the 21st century.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Read also Roland Deiser and Sylvain Newton's article from McKinsey Quarterly February 2013: Six social-media skills every leader needs.


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Joe Boutte's curator insight, June 23, 7:54 AM

Everyday leadership integrates all modes of communications.  21st century leaders should leverage new social technologies to communicate strategy, ideas, news, and priorities.  Unleashing communications from the email treadmill to extend and enhance face-to-face and other traditional communications methods is a force multiplier for organizational leadership.

Donna Karlin's curator insight, June 24, 8:12 AM

In an increasingly global community this is critical. Collaboration across borders and in increasingly virtual work environments, a new playbook is in order.

Donna Karlin's curator insight, June 24, 8:19 AM

In an increasingly virtual work environment and global community this is critical

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The New Yorker: Battle Of The Strategy Titans

The New Yorker: Battle Of The Strategy Titans | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

Is Harvard Professor Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation terrorism? Or has the one-time assistant to Professor Porter confused the diagnosis with the disease?

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Excellent article by Steve Denning! 


See also my previous reference to Jill Lepore's article in the New Yorker here


Read Clay Christensen's response to Lepore's article in Businessweek here.


Other resources:



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Why The World's Dumbest Idea Is (Finally) Dying

Why The World's Dumbest Idea Is (Finally) Dying | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

A consensus is forming among thought leaders that shareholder primacy must give way customer primacy. Behold! The age of customer capitalism is dawning!

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Graeme Reid's curator insight, June 18, 9:03 PM

Interesting article about the demise of the concept that maximising shareholder value is a corporations' primary purpose.

dominique turcq's comment, June 19, 3:21 AM
A very interesting concept and a good article; but is it going far enough and shouldnt we also debate the managerialism?
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Leaders who inspire: A 21st-century approach to developing your talent

Most companies' leadership models are missing a key element: inspiration. 

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Becoming a purpose-driven Leader

Becoming a purpose-driven Leader | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

What separates the best leaders from the rest? What do they have that trumps up their success? Is it knowledge? Motivation? Money?


Great leadership begins on the inside of every person. It begins with discovering our life’s purpose!


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Eric Chan Wei Chiang's curator insight, June 15, 3:55 AM

It is important to remember that ambition is a choice. Success cannot be forced upon those who do not seek it. Great leaders must choose to lead on their own accord.

 

Check out Talent Today, a really good tool for self-discovery:

https://www.talentoday.com/

Graeme Reid's curator insight, June 16, 7:55 PM

If you are not fired up and energised about something you deeply care about, then people will not follow you.

Tony Phillips's curator insight, June 17, 5:26 PM

Give me a great why and I will run with you

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How Jargon Hurt the Culture At GM

How Jargon Hurt the Culture At GM | LeadershipABC | Scoop.it

How corporate idioms got in the way of workers' and leaders' ability to see the severity of the company's problems in GM.

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