How to be resilient, Strong leadership, ‘Supervising’ social media, Should the Board and CEO be friends?

Hello and welcome to my weekly take on the most interesting news and thinking in the world of leadership.

There were a number of examples this week of low accountability leadership. From the utter chaos at GM (and Ford), to the latest research showing that bosses use social media more than their subordinates.

In all of these cases it’s interesting (and concerning) that the underlying cause is accelerating business complexity. Given the technology and generational changes we have up ahead, it’s unlikely we see these kind of headlines go away any time soon.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can get in touch by replying directly to this email.

Kindest regards,


This week in your essential leadership reading:

Why the CEO and the board shouldn’t be friends
An interesting write up of a recent academic study that goes directly to leadership accountability. Researchers looked at the impact that friendship has on contentious compensation decisions. And that impact is significant.

Are we seeing the end of ego in leadership?
This is a great article from Theresa Tedesco on the extinction of the ego driven CEO. “Everyone is focused on credibility and not celebrity and that’s a big part of how boards envision the job of CEO today”
Financial Post

What GM can learn from Alan Mulally’s leadership at Ford
The stories from GM’s leadership crisis just keep getting worse; Bureaucracy gone crazy, zero accountability and even worse communication. This piece looks for the lessons for GM from Alan Mulally’s turnaround of leadership behaviour at Ford. As always, It’s amazing what can be achieved when you align individual interests with organisational strategy.
NY Times

The myth of the strong leader
A fascinating perspective on the myth of strong leadership. The book under review is about political leadership, but the lessons are just as relevant for business. Hard to argue that business leaders are equally at risk “when they come to believe too strongly in their own powers and perception”
The Guardian

When work conditions are tough, Machiavellians thrive
Some interesting new research that shows when budgets are cut or time is short, the people who are most likely to succeed are Machiavellians. More reason to make sure everyone is aligned!
The British Psychological Society

Bosses use social media at work more than subordinates
A rather concerning look at the state of social media in the workplace. Whilst managers worry about reductions in productivity from subordinates on social media, they’re the greatest problem!

How to be resilient: 8 steps to success when life gets hard
I loved this fun and helpful article from Eric Barker. A great ‘bookmark’ resource in increasing your resilience as a leader. Lots of practical, research supported tips in an easy to read format.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Do your leaders deliver results consistently on-time and on-budget? Gillian Fox is an expert in leadership development to build accountability across your organisation.

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