Why Your CEO Just Doesn’t Get It

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2growth

* This column was originally published on Forbes.com

Quality leadership or a lack thereof is easy to spot if you know what to look for. The problem is most people don’t know what to look for in a leader, and according to a recent study by Chief Executive magazine many CEOs don’t seem to know what to look for either.

While I probably shouldn’t have been surprised, I will admit to being absolutely stunned as I reviewed the results of a survey published in the January/February 2014 edition of Chief Executive in which respondents (sitting CEOs) ranked the top 10 skills needed for effective leadership.  Following are the results in descending order of importance:

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Tolerance Versus Free Speech – Keeping The Main Thing The Main Thing

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2growth 

* This column was originally published on Forbes.com

I have watched quietly, curiously, and with great interest the intense emotions surrounding the controversy with regard to recent comments made by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson in the January issue of GQ. In today’s column, I question whether or not there should have been a controversy at all.

 

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The Leadership Lesson They Don’t Teach In Business School But Should

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2growth 

* This column was originally published on Forbes.com

I’ve always believed leadership exists to disrupt mediocrity, but I’m afraid in recent times many leaders are losing that battle. Somewhere along the way, they threw in the towel and settled for a weak-kneed, watered-down version of leadership – they have rationalized and justified themselves into an acceptance of mediocrity.

The sad reality is that in many cases, the education, training and development leaders receive today is woefully inadequate. We are producing analysts and risk managers and labeling them leaders. We’ve taught them to be practical, analytical, and risk adverse, but have failed to equip them to lead.

 

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Board Diversity

Top 10 Reasons Diversity Is Good For The Boardroom

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2growth 

I do quite a bit of work on matters of board composition, selection and succession, and what I can tell you is this; board diversity is simply smart business. You’ll never hear me recommend diversity solely for the sake of checking a box, but when diversity in the boardroom offers so many benefits to the CEO (and to the entire organization) it’s nothing short of irresponsible for chief executives not to place their board composition under the microscope. In today’s column I’ll share with you the top 10 reasons why diversity is good for the boardroom.

 

Real Full Column on Forbes

The #1 Problem Every Leader Has But Isn't Aware Of

The #1 Problem Every Leader Has But Isn’t Aware Of

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2growth 

* This column was originally published on Forbes.com

Let’s cut right to the chase – the biggest problem all leaders face is problem solving itself. The job of every leader is to avoid, minimize or altogether eliminate problems. When the inevitable problems do arise, it’s a leader’s job to turn said problems into opportunity. The issue is this; most leaders are woefully inept when it comes to problem solving.

Pick any leadership challenge and it boils down to a problem solving issue – nothing more, nothing less. Issues surrounding talent, finance, public policy, operations, strategy, social purpose, execution, competition, litigation, etc., are simply problems to be solved.

 

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8 Ways To Spot Great Leadership

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2growth 

If you ever wonder why we’re in a crisis of leadership all you have to do is to watch and listen to those in positions of leadership. While there are clearly many aspects of leadership that must work together in harmony in order for leaders to be effective, everything breaks down when leaders don’t understand how to engage effectively.

Let’s start with what leadership is not: Leadership is not a monologue, a speech, a lecture or a filibuster. Leadership is not talking at or over people. Leadership is not sequestered, does not live in a bubble or operate in a vacuum. Leadership is not exclusive or arrogant. Leadership is not about the leader.

 

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The Silent CEO Addiction Killing Productivity And Talent Development

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2growth 

Corporate America’s dependency on consulting firms is nothing short of substance abuse in the purest form. The fact is most CEOs suffer from this very dangerous addiction and they don’t even know it – they are clearly in need of an intervention.

Addicts don’t often admit they have a problem. They tend to rationalize and justify their behavior as normal. Here’s the thing – normal doesn’t always mean admirable or correct. In fact, normal most often means mediocre. Just as addicts are in constant search of a quick fix, misguided CEOs are in search of a perceived easy solution. It’s easier to throw money at the symptom rather than do the work to solve the problem. Don’t look for the easy solution – look for the correct solution.

 

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A Crisis Of Leadership – What’s Next?

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2growth 

* This column was originally published on Forbes.com

While today’s column could focus solely on the government shutdown or various components thereof, a lack of leadership isn’t just a problem in the United States; it’s a global problem. It’s also much more than an indictment on global politics; it’s a systemic problem that pervades every level of society. I don’t think there’s much debate the world is ensnarled in a crisis of leadership. The question becomes what do we do about it?

 

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9 Reasons To Lead In A No Spin Zone

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2growth 

* This column was originally published on Forbes.com

Leadership not deeply rooted in a foundation of truth is leadership destined to fail. The reality is the best leaders are also absolutists when it comes to truth – they view truth as a non-negotiable. However in the wake of some of the recent, and highly publicized business, financial, and political scandals, it’s not too difficult to understand how some may actually question the existence of truth in business or government. If you peel back the layers on most of the debacles that often transform themselves into highly sensationalized headlines, you’ll see they often begin with rationalizations, justifications, posturing, and spin being substituted for the truth. In today’s column I’ll address the often overlooked benefits of truth telling as a key success metric.

 

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The World’s Top 50 Leadership and Management Thinkers

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2growth 

* This column was originally published on Forbes.com

Every two years since 2001, Thinkers50 has published their ranking of the world’s top 50 management and leadership thinkers. I’ve watched the popularity of this ranking grow over the last few years, and today being nominated for a Thinkers50 award is largely considered akin to being nominated for an “Oscar” in management and leadership thinking. Those recognized previously have included Peter Drucker, Michael Porter, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Tom Peters, Richard Branson, Clayton Christensen and other esteemed thinkers. Just today, Thinkers50 announced their shortlist for the 2013 awards. In todays column I’ll take a peek inside Thinkers50 which includes an interview with one of its founders Stuart Crainer.

 

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12 Leadership Qualities of an Often Overlooked President

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2growth 

I’m a big fan of author and historian David McCullough. His writing has a way of transporting me back in time like few other authors can. Recently I have been immersing myself in his account of America’s second president John Adams. McCullough’s portrayal of John Adams has made no small impact on me.

If your early education was anything like mine, Adams presidency was glossed over with little more than a brief mention. Perhaps this was largely because he was sandwiched between two of our more memorable presidents – Washington and Jefferson. If this generation of American children is having the same experience I did, it’s a shame.

 

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