While some CEOs strive to get their companies on the Fortune 500 list (or to improve their rankings if they’re already on it), others have their sights set on more modest accolades and achievements. Regardless of whether they run small enterprises or corporate juggernauts, all business leaders have one thing in common: They want their companies to be successful. Certain characteristics can be invaluable in terms of achieving and maintaining corporate success, while other attributes are more likely to hinder individuals’ executive careers – not to mention the viability of the companies they lead. (more…)
Articles & Insights
Leadership can be a tricky road to navigate. Luckily, there have been many successful leaders that can lend a tip or two on how to steer through these turbulent waters. While all of today’s biggest visionaries would agree that no-one possesses all the answers, they do have some pretty valuable insights into some key leadership criteria.
Over the past few years, some companies have separated the roles of chair and CEO, some have combined the two positions and others have followed tradition by keeping the breakdown of titles and duties the same as always. So, what are the pros and cons of separate vs. combined, and is one approach better than the other across the board? (more…)
Companies turn to executive search consultants with the expectation of tapping into a valuable, efficient, knowledgeable and well-connected resource. The ultimate goal is to identify quality candidates with the skills each individual enterprise is looking for, but other elements, such as cultural fit, are important as well. (more…)
For an individual in an entry-level position at an organization who aspires to rise through the ranks, the path to executive leadership – and claiming his or her very own chair in the C-suite – has several checkpoints along the way. (more…)
In a recent two-part article series, we took a look at some professional resolutions that could help corporate leaders kick off 2016 on the right foot. The motivation and sense of potential that a new year brings can prompt many people to seek out books related to their resolutions – guides to weight loss, collections of financial tips, pointers on becoming more organized, to name but a few – and those who aspire to bolster their leadership skills are no exception in this regard. Forbes and The Globe and Mail both recently published lists of notable business books that came out in 2015, many of which contain insights and advice that could prove useful to executives eager to better themselves from a professional standpoint in 2016.
With the year quickly drawing to a close, many people are making personal resolutions intended to benefit their lives and the lives of those around them in 2016. The end of the year is also a time when executives should be thinking about their professional resolutions – namely, ways to improve upon themselves as leaders and bolster their companies’ operations. Coming up with meaningful and inspired business-focused resolutions can be tricky, so in part one, we put forward the following ideas:
The month of December is filled with merriment in many cultures and faiths, drawing to a close with a period that involves both reflecting on the past and planning for the future as the Western calendar prepares to flip over to a new year. It’s said that January was named after the Roman god Janus, who had two faces – one looking forward to the year ahead and one looking backward at the year that had recently come to an end. With that in mind, it’s fitting that this time of year is when many individuals make resolutions intended to improve their lives and those of the people around them.
The winter holidays often prove to be a trying yet lucrative period for companies in the retail industry, as well as their partners and vendors. One weak link in the supply chain can bring down an executive’s carefully laid plans like a house of cards, rendering items out of stock and on back order at the most inconvenient time for consumers. Conversely, executives who are overly optimistic about demand may find themselves exiting the holiday season with surplus stock and disappointing revenues.
Fortune Magazine recently released the 2015 iteration of its Businessperson of the Year List, which weighed a number of aspects such as profit and revenue increases, corporate stock performance, shareholder returns, ratio of debt to capital, strategic initiatives, business influence and leadership style.
As the year draws to a close, publications such as the Harvard Business Review and Fortune are beginning to release their annual rankings of standout corporate leaders.
In part one, we went from A to Z on the corporate spectrum – literally – by contrasting the hard-driving work environment at Amazon with the depressurized culture at Zappos. In a recent piece for the Harvard Business Review, brand-building expert Denise Lee Yohn asserted that both types of workplaces are valuable due to the fact that they’re distinctive, and companies with distinctive cultures are at an advantage when it comes to hiring because it’s easy for recruiters to determine whether a prospective employee will be a good fit or a fish out of water.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of corporate culture. In just one example of just how critical company culture can be, a March study conducted by OfficeTeam found that two-thirds of surveyed human resources managers believed their organizations had lost employees as a result of cultural mismatches that left professionals who looked perfect on paper struggling to assimilate in reality. Some enterprises dedicate a lot of time and money to building strong, purposeful corporate cultures, but those that don’t still have a culture of sorts – whether positive or negative – even if they’re unaware of it.
The number of women in the American workforce exceeds that of men, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the gender breakdown among members of the C-suite.
In part one, we detailed a number of traits identified as crucial for leadership success by executives and other business experts such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, author and business consultant Peter Economy, Insureon CEO Ted Devine and Skybox Imaging CEO Tom Ingersoll. In part two, we add a few more voices to the conversation.
There are almost as many different opinions of what makes a good executive as there are leaders and business experts. We took a look at a few of these individuals’ outlooks, mixing examples and insights from both world-famous leaders and people who aren’t quite household names – or, at least, not yet.
For leaders, it can be all too easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day rituals associated with running a business. Often, executives are so tied up in everything going on that they are unable to step back and look at the big picture – and even those who recognize the need to do so may not know where to start. We compiled a list of questions that leaders may find helpful in terms of taking the first step.
During the executive search and recruitment process, companies may come upon multiple strong candidates. Choosing the best of the bunch typically requires widening the scope in order for an individual’s on-paper accomplishments and qualities not to be the only aspects taken into consideration.
The latest iteration of the Harvard Business Review’s list of the 100 best-performing CEOs in the world, published in HBR Magazine’s November 2015 issue, incorporated some new elements. This led to a dramatic shakeup, causing some CEOs’ rankings to plummet and others to skyrocket.
What kind of legacy will you leave behind?
For many, board service is the pinnacle of their career – a reward of sorts for a job well done. Regrettably, few board directors think about the day they retire, let alone their legacy in the boardroom.
The idea of legacy is a deeply powerful way to align one’s current board service to the company’s long term objectives. Asking “what do I want to leave behind?” rather than “what do I need to do to comply?” expands our thinking about board succession. It offers a concrete sense of purpose in choosing how to plan for your succession and who to elect to succeed you. (more…)
Many executives travel for business, but some go a step further, relocating to a new country for months or even years. Employers eager to give these professionals every chance to succeed supply them with a range of resources intended to help them not only assimilate, but flourish. However, in the end, it’s executives themselves who determine whether they succeed or fail in their expatriate roles.
There are a whole host of factors involved in the executive search and recruitment process. Some are relevant across the board, such as solid references, a good reputation and leadership skills, while others are more specific – for instance, expertise in a particular field. This equation is further complicated by the fact that every company comes with its own unique set of needs, and an executive with a high likelihood of thriving at one enterprise has the potential to crash and burn at another. That being said, in spite of the vast number of variables at play, it is still possible to make some generalized assertions to help streamline and optimize the executive recruiting process.
Family-owned businesses are known for many things, but spanning generations isn’t necessarily one of them. In fact, a recently released EY Global report noted that the majority of family businesses fail to stay operational for more than one or two generations before closing their doors for good, although there are some that beat the odds. (more…)
In part one, we introduced the idea that although grade schools and postsecondary educational institutions are instrumental in equipping students with the tools they need to succeed in the workforce, some lessons can’t be taught in the classroom. Instead, they are learned on the job – or, as leadership coach and advisor Roy Osing phrased it, “in the trenches.”
Grade schools and postsecondary educational institutions play an important role in preparing people to go out and succeed in the “real world.” Such an assertion is virtually indisputable – but no matter the industry students join when they leave school and enter the working world, they’ll probably realize there are some things that simply can’t be taught in the classroom. Rather, these aspects must be learned in the field and on the job. (more…)