CEOs lack future growth drive: survey

WHILE CEOs acknowledge the importance of future business growth, they lack the ability to make it happen, a Drake Management Consulting survey has found.

The nationwide survey of just under 500 senior executives found only 5.4 per cent of respondents believed their CEOs were doing the spadework to guarantee future growth.

And only 2.3 per cent felt their top executives were creating a climate for crucial innovation and technical progressiveness.

The remainder believed their leaders were more focussed on immediate issues such as customer and client service, product quality and occupational health and safety.

Drake Management Consulting national manager Chris Meddows-Taylor believes current leadership inertia is a result of leaders putting undue focus on the here and now.

“They haven’t shifted their mindset to future issues which is very much a legacy of the wholesale downsizing activity of recent years,” Mr Meddows-Taylor said.

“Back then, simply staying in the game was all that mattered. However, this is no longer a long-term option.”

Mr Meddows-Taylor said visionary leadership was an essential ingredient for any CEO and should be a key to their selection and performance management.

“Our leaders need to be better coaches – to be able to guide their teams, help them learn from their mistakes and to remotivate them to achieve future success,” he said.

Mr Meddows-Taylor said the recruitment of CEOs would have to be dramatically revised if the right calibre of leaders was to be found.

“Unfortunately mateship still plays a major part in selecting CEOs,” he said.

“The fallout from this is that the culture of leaders is based on similarity – not diversity.

“We are going to have to take the plunge and that is going to mean some very painful decisions for boards as well as CEOs in their succession planning,” he said.

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