Recently, a prospective client commented that he had looked at a 10-year-old strategy document from his firm and discovered that the priorities were virtually identical to the most recent plan. He seemed shocked that such a thing could happen and wondered if the phenomenon was unique to his firm.
I told him no, it was not. In fact, I have had similar conversations with multiple CEOs in recent years. The bigger question is, how is it possible that his organization had been aware of the need for transformation a decade ago and yet not acted on the awareness?
At least for mid-sized firms, the biggest leadership issue is often not a lack of strategic insight into what needs to be done. The real failure, instead, is one of leadership. It is a failure of the CEO and executive team (and the board) to make and execute the transformation leadership they know is required.
There are several underlying causes for failing the leadership test. The most common is discomfort with challenging and changing the status quo. This manifests in multiple ways:
- Lack of vision for a better future
- Tolerating sub-optimal performance from members of the executive team
- Fear of rocking the boat with the board
- CEO lacks the energy to lead the change
- CEO stops growing
- CEO lacks clarity about how to make the change happen
- The board’s unwillingness to hold the CEO accountable
The Bailey Group excels in helping boards, CEOs and executive teams find the clarity and confidence to lead transformation. Are you facing the need to mobilize your organization to act on difficult but necessary transformational change? Contact us to set up a free consultation. We’d love to help!