See Full Story
Last week, HP's ex-CEO and current Republican Spokesperson Carly Fiorina, in a poorly thought-out attempt to help McCain win, indicated that none of the presidential or vice presidential hopefuls could be CEOs like she was. Given she was fired, I was thinking, gee I hope so, but she intended the comment to mean they weren't as qualified as she was. Having studied to be a CEO myself and studied a number of successful ones, I believe she couldn't be more wrong.
Having been both minion and master, I couldn't agree much more with your remarks. John Scully was perhaps the worst mistake Steve Jobs ever made with Apple. I worked for Apple during Scully's reign and he simply never understood Apple's culture, product space or why some of his best people had what appeared to be the roughest edges.
Many of the most successful Apple executives(in terms of job performance) had a deficiency of high profile education, modest social skills and the unfortunate mind set that keeping Apple moving forward was a much more important job skill than appreciation of wines, Armani and trophy wives. These folks simply knew how to pick the right people and motivate them to do their jobs in the best, most effective way possible. A great example of this is Bill Coldrick, one of my all time heroes.
In my opinion, Scully and his choices were directly responsible for Apple missing a great opportunity to take 15-25% market share from Microsoft.
On the other hand I was a perfect CEO.... except for a bad habit or two such as occasionally second guessing people whom I had hired for their expertise and consistently failing to recognize when I was getting too far ahead of my markets.
Being CEO is a lot harder than it looks and defining what to look for in a CEO candidate is no picnic either, but I think you have nailed the key characteristics quite well.
Thanks for a though provoking article.
You are so right about the skills of a good CEO -all of the good leaders I have known knew how to bring out the best in people. To succeed in business, you have to be able to move people to exceed their own expectations. I have been very fortunate to have a number of bosses that understood that. It makes it tough now that I am my own boss - the dog is not that inspirational. I felt sorry for Carly - she really made herself look bad with those comments and you're right it doesn't seem like she learned much from her experience or has a very good PR handler.