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Must Reads-Executive Presence

What Sets Successful CEOs Apart

Elena Lytkina Botelho, Kim Rosenkoetter Powell, Stephen Kincaid, and Dina Wang, Harvard Business Review, May/June 2017

At the top of the ladder, the stakes are high and the demands intense. Too many CEOs falter in the job; about a quarter of the Fortune 500 chiefs who leave their firms each year are forced out. Clearly, boards do not always get their hires right. In conducting an analysis of in-depth assessments of 17,000 executives, the authors uncovered a large disconnect between what directors think makes for an ideal CEO and what actually leads to high performance. The findings of their 10-year research project challenge many widely held assumptions. [...read more]

FBI Director Sees Increasing Terrorist Interest in Cyberattacks Against U.S.

Damian Paletta, The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2015

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said Wednesday that terrorist groups had begun discussing ways to hit Americans with a cyberattack, though he said plotting appeared to be in early stages. Mr. Comey didn't divulge what sort of cyberattack terrorist groups could be trying to design. U.S. officials have spent years trying to protect things like water-treatment plants, electrical grids, and the banking system from debilitating cyberattacks, but they remain wary because criminal gangs and sophisticated nation-state hackers have proven adept at breaking through networks. [...read more]

The New CEO’s Guide to Transformation: Turning Ambition into Sustainable Results

Hans-Paul Bürkner, Lars Fæste, and Jim Hemerling, BCG Perspectives, May 15, 2015

Leadership transitions increasingly happen when companies are at an inflection point, and as a result, new CEOs frequently face immediate pressure to make changes. The challenges are significant. As the traditional sources of competitive advantage disappear, top-performing companies are increasing their lead on poor and average performers. To keep up with industry leaders—or to remain a leader—it is more important than ever for companies to undergo transformations. [...read more]

10 Facts About the New Cyber Threat Intelligence Center

Nicole Blake Johnson, FedTech, March 2, 2015

The new Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC), established in February under the purview of the director of national intelligence (DNI), is expected to be fully operational by the end of fiscal year 2016. While there are many unknowns about the center's specific roles and responsibilities and staffing structure, this article shares 10 takeaways from the White House that provide more details about the CTIIC. [...read more]

The Activist Imperative: How CEOs Can Preempt Shareholder Activists

Peter Cohan, Forbes, February 20, 2015

Could what happened to Clarence Otis happen to you? Otis used to be CEO of Darden Restaurants. In October 2014, Jeff Smith, head of $3 billion Starboard Value, outmaneuvered Otis and Darden's board in a proxy battle for control. The result was that Starboard replaced Darden's 12-member board and Otis – all while owning less than 10% of Darden's shares, according to Fortune. And Darden is hardly alone — CEOs at AOL, Adobe Systems, Apple, PepsiCo, Kraft, and Yahoo are among the leaders who have been forced to deal with activists in recent years. [...read more]

Even the Experts Are Frustrated: Stanford Research Finds Shareholders Dissatisfied with CEO Pay Disclosure

Yahoo! Finance, February 17, 2015

Nearly half of institutional investors believe that corporate disclosure about executive compensation should be clearer and easier to understand, according to new research from Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB). In particular, shareholders were dissatisfied with CEO compensation disclosure. [...read more]

How to be the best CEO you can be from any starting point

Paul A. Riecks, Smart CEO, September 1, 2014

Great CEOs come from dramatically different backgrounds with amazingly different skills. Every CEO you meet comes from a different starting point, but it's possible for all manners of men and women to become effective leaders. Over the years that this article's author has been working with CEOs, the "real" ones found certain landmarks along the path, including clear strategies, a focus on people both internally and externally, and an adaptable attitude. [...read more]

G.M.’s Board Is Seen as Slow in Reacting to Safety Crisis

Bill Vlasic, The New York Times, September 7, 2014

After General Motors emerged from bankruptcy and a government bailout five years ago, the board of directors of the "new G.M." was expected to keep a more watchful eye on a company that had gone seriously off track. But on the issue of vehicle safety, the board until recently took a mostly hands-off approach, rarely even discussing the topic beyond periodic reviews of product quality with company executives. [...read more]

Executives’ Biggest Productivity Challenges, Solved

Gretchen Gavett, HBR Blog Network, February 14, 2014

A conversation with "Extreme Productivity" Author Robert Pozen answers the questions of how demands on executives — and CEOs in particular — have changed over the years, and how today's leaders can best navigate their busy days. [...read more]

Ctrl, Alt, Nadella: can Microsoft’s new CEO reboot the software giant?

Tom Warren, The Verge, February 4, 2014

Microsoft named its third CEO in its entire 38-year history today: Satya Nadella. After Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Nadella faces the challenge of running a company that has 16 different billion-dollar businesses and will soon have 130,000 employees thanks to its acquisition of Nokia. That's not just a huge challenge, it's also a question of focus and strategy for Nadella. [...read more]

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