CEOs: Be a General … and a Scout

conference-tableI have mentioned on many occasions the Corner Office series in the Sunday NY Times which features an interview by Adam Bryant with a prominent CEO. The questions are consistent but invariably reveal an important reminder of  key elements of leadership.

In a recent interview with Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, Rogers explained how important it is to be on the front lines, to employ the MBWA concept that keeps you in touch with what’s REALLY going on. He also emphasizes a point made repeatedly in Sword Tips … that a strong leadership team is an invaluable cornerstone of successful leadership. In an unusual reference, Rogers mentions it in the context of time management … that he can’t get done what’s on his plate unless he has built a trusted team, clearly shared the company strategy with them and demonstrates his trust in their ability to succeed.

A final reminder is a bugaboo for most business leaders … be careful of upward delegation. He wants his colleagues to make their own decisions … “it’s your call” … and continues to push back down the questions that bubble up … “what do you think of this idea” or “what about this”. He wants people to make that call themselves.

So, in Roger’s words … be a General to set strategy and direction … and be a Scout to make sure you’re out there, finding the next great opportunity to build your organization.

Leave a Reply