A Pattern of Leadership Blunders
Why have some very smart executives and leaders failed in recent years, bringing down whole companies and countries, costing billions of dollars, and causing incredible losses to shareholders, customers, citizens and employees? What can be learned to avoid such huge failures? Recent corporate scandals and bankruptcies reveal that some CEOs fail on such a scale that they bring the company down with them. Enron, Webvan, GM, WorldCom, RIM, and Tyco are examples. CEOs at GM, Motorola, Rite Aid, Mattel, Quaker, and Saatchi & Saatchi have led their companies to the brink of collapse at one time. These companies were led by executives with stellar track records of previous success. CEOs are now lasting just 7.6 years in office on a global average, down from 9.5 years in 1995, according to consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. Two out of every five new CEOs fail in the first 18 months (HBR, January 2005).
“We live and work in a world where organizational failure is endemic—but where frank, comprehensive dissections of those failures are still woefully infrequent; where success is too easily celebrated and failures are too quickly forgotten; where short-term earnings and publicity concerns block us from confronting— much less, learning from—our stumbles and our blunders.” —Jena McGregor, Fast Company Magazine, February 2005.
While the corporate cultures of failed businesses vary widely, there are visible patterns of similarity. Click here to read or download the entire article.