15. LIFE ON LAND

67 CEOs reveal six mindsets of top leaders in McKinsey book – Business Chief North America

Written by Amanda

67 CEOs reveal six mindsets of top leaders in McKinsey book  Business Chief North America

In a storm, look beyond the horizon

Managing crises comes with the CEO role; it could be company-specific such as a product failure, or an external catastrophe, such as the pandemic. While CEO Excellence outlines protocols, such as stress tests, scenario planning, and how to set up a command centre, it emphasises that for a CEO, it’s essential to keep a long-term perspective.

“It doesn’t matter how difficult times are, there is always a world after a crisis. Even if the situation looks bleak, believe in yourself and your people and maintain a positive attitude,” counsels Herbert Hainer, CEO of Adidas from 2000-2016. “Don’t let yourself or the company be influenced too much by uncontrollable circumstances.” 

A longer-term view can also help a leader sidestep tempting short-term solutions that ultimately may be harmful. When hit by a recession, Eaton’s Sandy Cutler didn’t want to resort to layoffs, noting, “When we grow again, we’re going to need the skills of all of these people.”

Be the energy you want to see

The mood of the CEO can permeate the entire organisation. “My leadership mantra, which I think about literally every day, is that the role of a leader is to define reality and give hope,” says Ken Chenault of American Express. But it has to be genuine and pragmatic, or employees will see through it.

Marjorie Yang of Esquel reinforces the importance of showing up with a positive attitude. “My job is to drive away fear,” she says. “Fear is the worst enemy of any business….As a leader, my job is to maintain…and radiate confidence.”

Andrew Wilson of Electronic Arts believes people look to CEOs today for more than professional guidance: they look for personal, spiritual and philosophical support. It’s important to show humanity to inspire people.

He offers an example. During a pandemic zoom call with 7,000 employees, he paused the call to make a paper airplane for his five-year-old son who had just walked into the room. 

“It took thirty seconds… afterward people reached out and said: ‘Thank you. You just gave us permission to be parents…to spend the time,’” he said. “When you talk to great CEOs, the things I hear about aren’t how big the company is, how high the share price is, how much money they make…” he observes. “[It’s] how they make their people feel. That’s the legacy of a great CEO.”

Source: businesschief.com

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Amanda

Hi there, I am Amanda and I work as an editor at impactinvesting.ai;  if you are interested in my services, please reach me at amanda.impactinvesting.ai

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