Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Six Myths about Strong Leaders

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Myth 1 The CEO is the primary determinant of whether companies win or lose

Practical reality

Broad-based leadership and organisational systems are more important over time than any single leader

Myth 2 The CEO has to be in charge

Practical reality

The CEOs of large companies cannot make all the key decisions; a strong cadre of leaders down the line make key decisions all the time that never reach the attention of the CEO

Myth 3 All of the CEO's "direct reports" are a team because they say it is!

Practical reality

The CEO's direct reports seldom, if ever, function as a real team

Myth 4 The right person in the right job naturally leads to the right team

Practical reality

Real teams at the top happen naturally only when a major unexpected event or crisis forces the issue

Myth 5 The top team's primary purpose is to carry out the corporate mission

Practical reality

Achieving a company's mission requires much more than what a small group of top managers decides or does; besides, that does not provide the focus, commitment, and mutual accountability elements that characterise real team efforts

Myth 6 CEO's need to be tough and hard

Practical reality

As Martin Luther King stated, leadership means a tough mind and tender heart. Being tough is about resilience, flexibility and durability. On the other hand, hard is a static state.

(sources: Jon Katzenbach et al, 1997; Jarek Czechowicz, 2001)


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