Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Doesn't Leadership Matter?
The most frequent question I receive regarding the common practices of companies that have survived over 100 years is "Why don't you have good leadership as one of the factors?" The simple answer is because it didn't show up in the studies. These companies have survived because of their strategy, culture and practices that transcend individual leaders. Though most of them revere their founder and have stories about leaders who navigated the organization through a crisis of some sort, no common leadership traits emerged. Obviously leadership matters and these companies thrive under good leadership. But they also survive under poor leadership. What they can't appear to overcome, however, is a leader who tries to steer the company away from its strengths rather than building on them: when old companies fail, the leaders have not been following the practices that enabled them to survive for the past 100 years. What a shame.