CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets That Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest
Experts Caroline Dewar, Scott Keller and Vikram Malhotra ask: What if the world’s highest-performing CEOs held a master class to share the skills and practices that have driven their success over the years?
Written by senior managers from McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s most influential management consulting firms, this insight-packed look at how the best CEOs do their jobs is based on extensive interviews with today’s most successful corporate leaders from firms including Netflix, General Motors (GM) and Sony.
Being a CEO at any of the world’s largest companies is among the most challenging roles in business. Billions, and even trillions, of dollars are at stake – and the fate of tens of thousands of employees often hangs in the balance. Yet, even when “can’t miss” high-achievers win the top job, very few excel, say Caroline Dewar, Scott Keller and Vikram Malhotra. Thirty percent of Fortune 500 CEOs last fewer than three years, and two out of five new CEOs are perceived to be failing within 18 months, the McKinsey experts make clear.
So for those who shoulder the burden of being the one on whom everyone counts, a manual for excellence is a must – and ‘CEO Excellence – Six Mindsets that Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest’ fits the bill perfectly.
To find the 21st century’s best CEOs, the authors of ‘CEO Excellence’ analysed more than 20 years’ of data on a dizzying 7,800 CEOs from 3,500 public companies across 70 countries and 24 industries. Extensive screening distilled that group into an elite 67 who agreed to in-depth, multi-hour interviews.
In setting out to identify “CEOs who moved the needle most,” the writers focused on executives from the largest public companies with six or more years of experience who delivered returns to shareholders. They then “opened the aperture” to include some women and minority CEOs who made an impact. The authors revealed six key responsibilities: “setting the direction, aligning the organisation, mobilising through leaders, engaging the board, connecting with stakeholders, and managing personal effectiveness.” The best CEOs, they write, keep their eye on all six.
Among those sharing their views are Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Reed Hastings (Netflix), Kazuo Hirai (Sony), Ken Chenault (American Express), Mary Barra (General Motors) and Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (Nestlé).
What came out of these frank, no-holds-barred conversations is a rich array of mindsets and actions that deliver excellent performance. Compelling and practical, ‘CEO Excellence’ – available in hardback, paperback, a Kindle version or a CD, is dubbed by Amazon as “a treasure trove of wisdom from today’s most elite business leaders”.