C-Level Leadership, By Definition, is STRATEGIC; Get Outta The Weeds…

Too many C-Levels spend too much time with block-and-tackling tasks and not enough time with real strategic leadership efforts. The differences are huge. And frankly, we need more leaders not do-ers.

Senior-most leadership is not for the faint at heart, nor is it a logical progression, really, from any position. There’s little specific preparation for that CEO role, only the hope that we’ve picked up some of the specific needs by observation. So, why don’t more step up to that true-leadership challenge?

The answers may surprise you… for instance: (more…)

Succession Done Stupidly: Negligent Planning at the Highest Level

Headline (edited for brevity): Swiss bank UBS named Axel Weber as its next chairman in a surprise move that robbed rival Deutsche Bank of its top candidate to succeed its chief Josef Ackermann in 2013.

Make no mistake, this is Board negligence on the part of Deutsche Bank, pure and simple.

They should vote out the entire lot.

This sort of crap really ticks me off. They call it “succession planning,” and the key movement in their entire plan is based on someone with which they have zero relationship, and zero knowledge of hiring success. In fact, they were merely hoping that this über-CEO would be available whenever they beck and called.

Apparently, Weber saw it differently.


It’s NOT The Economy, Stupid!

We speak so often about “the economy,” as if it’s this latent beast lurking about that no one can influence or control. And that beast, according to many, unilaterally influences success and failure in myriad ways through all walks of life and industry.


Regardless of how you measure “the economy,” it doesn’t fundamentally “cause” ANYTHING; it merely exists in the background, sort of like the movie “Matrix.” It’s a backdrop for industry, a simple, somewhat undefined engine creating a lot of white noise. And sometimes, distractions.


Manufacturing Matters…Really!

Manufacturing — and I include process industries like chemical, refining, and some distribution — is the backbone of this country. If I’m exaggerating with that statement, it’s only by a small margin.

We can see clearly how Manufacturing really does matter – it’s a real source of strategic advantage for the United States.

In my mind, there are three reasons for this:

1. We build it here. I hate to sound trite, but it does matter when things are “made in the U.S.A.” Now, let’s not get carried away – that can’t be the foundation of manufacturing value in the U.S. (“buy American” is a crock statement, in my opinion; trite and defensive, it’s designed to shame rather than promote), but it certainly does have an impact, particularly today.