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The Mind Of The CEO Formato Kindle
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The Mind of the CEO is shallow and this despite the fact that its author, Jeffrey Garten is the dean of the Yale School of management (I suppose i can kiss goodbye to my application for a Yale MBA). At the same time it is telling that much of the obtuse thinking that has invaded management circles in recent decades has roots in the very academic circles that are supposed to enlighten it with something deeper. Gartner interviews 40 of the world's 'top' (you'll gain a renewed appreciation of 'Bottom'when you read what 'top' is) to find out what makes their companies successful. Jack welch (who proves my point further with his new biographical masterpiece Jack), Jurgen Schrempp - an odd choice given his fiasco at Chrysler -, Andy Grove of Intel and other luminaries. The interviws or ' chats' only show how muddy corporate thinking is. Strategy is the most invoked word and none of the 40 stars says anything remotely different from each other. Some of the brilliant nuggets include "Consumers are going to want choices that make sense to them". "The next big step of going global is goping to be be going local". I only wish the CEO's would finally learn where they have to go. Someone should show them the way.
The ultimate and inadvertent message of the book is that CEO's have no more clues about the 'marketplace' than the rest of us and even less about innovations in management thinking. beware the next management technique, mission statement and seminar.
Unfortunately, being unoriginal and offering repackaged stale solutions earns CEO's several dollars and hero status.
This is a very revealing statement because it correctly suggests that the mind of Jeffrey E. Garten is as much involved in this book as are the minds of those CEOs he interviewed. Indeed, Garten shares several judgments of his own. For example, Garten asserts that global CEOs are not nearly as powerful as many people now assume as they struggle with three kinds of challenges amidst the third industrial revolution: "First, they have their hands full with the central strategic problems of how to take advantage of the Internet and the global economy. Second, they face certain everyday dilemmas of leading and managing corporate Goliaths.. And third, they have roles to play on the world political, economic, and social stage."
In the final chapter, Garten suggests that the three challenges "will be assessed by historians as having been too difficult for most CEOs to successfully handle all at once." This is especially true in larger organizations as their structures become "flatter", as delegation of authority becomes both wider and deeper, as "virtual" operations expand, and as strategic alliances (even with traditional competitors) proliferate. What intrigues me, frankly, is the relevance of the suggestion to owners/CEOs of small-to-midsize companies who, also, find many challenges "too difficult...to successfully handle all at once." Bennis and others have correctly identified the inadequacies of the authoritarian leadership style. In their book whose title is especially appropriate, O'Dell and Grayson suggest what could be accomplished in collaboration "if only we knew what we know." CEOs in years to come will have (indeed must have) quite different values, perspectives, and mindsets than those which today's CEOs possess. As indicated in what they say and do not say to Garten, many of today's CEOs agree.