Saturday, April 10, 2010

Why are so many people such poor executives?

Some of the reasons include:
  1. Inadequate objectivity. Emotion and ego rule while data is neither sought nor considered.
  2. Favoritism. Views people they personally like as more capable than those with whom they do not feel comfortable.
  3. Too short term. Does not have a long-term perspective or believes that immediate results are what count even if they have harmful long-term consequences.
  4. Motivates by fear and criticism rather than by encouragement of productive activities.
  5. Inadequate knowledge and no recognition that there is missing knowledge, which results in over-simplification and over-confidence.
  6. No consideration of unintended consequences. Does not think it through.
  7. Too much managing upward. Sometimes results in the appearance of activity with little real personal risk-taking.
  8. Unwillingness to ask for advice and help. No recognition that other people may have important insights or recommendations.
  9. Impatience. Often goes with "ready, fire, aim."
  10. Narrowness of experience base. Breadth of experience may be more important than depth if it is in large quantity.
The above is a brief listing of reasons why executives have probably not improved in the past 50 years. The McKinsey Quarterly recently published an article which suggested that in CPG companies, the splitting up of responsibilities which used always to belong to the Brand Manager has been harmful.

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