The 21st Century Executive: Innovative Practices for Building Leadership at the Top

By Rob Silzer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Selecting Leaders
at the Top
Exploring the Complexity
of Executive Fit

Rob Silzer

Similarity breeds complacency.

An outside executive who had recently become chief executive officer of a financial services corporation once asked me for help in reviewing the current executive team that she inherited and in advising her on how to best use the existing talent. The chief executive officer wanted to turn the finances of the company around quickly but wasn't sure how to gauge and to get the best out of the current executives, who had worked together for a number of years. The company had several years of poor financial performance after four years of strong income growth and had fallen into a relaxed maintenance business approach. Most of the blame for the recent weak financial performance was aimed at the previous chief executive officer, who had left the company. The executive group had become quite supportive and collegial with each other and had a difficult time identifying what had gone wrong, except to note that the former chief executive officer had ambiguous and modest corporate goals. The executive consensus was that the company just needed some clear direction. The new chief executive officer was ready to set a clear and challenging new direction but intuitively knew that the performance problems

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