Posts Tagged ‘CEO’

Top Leadership Traits Tell the Story

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Trust, empathy, and “mentorship” are the top three traits of successful leaders, according to Vineet Nayar, vice chairman and CEO of HCL Technologies, Ltd., in a recent Harvard Business Review article. Citing his own childhood experience of a natural-born leader in the neighborhood whom all the kids followed without question, Nayar says, “None of the leadership lessons that I have learned, unlearned, or relearned ever since have left as indelible an impact as the ones I learnt as a child.”

Trust, for example, is essential in order for your employees to feel empowered, to take risks, and to “push themselves beyond their comfort zones to find success.” (Credibility, reliability, intimacy and self-orientation are measures of a person’s trust quotient, according to The Trust Advisor, a book by David Maister, Charles Green and  Robert Galford.)

Empathy is exhibited by treating your employers as individual human beings rather than a generic group of “workers”.  Do your employees feel free to let you know what’s going on in their lives, both the joys and the sorrows? Do you allow them to see you as a human with a full range of emotion?

Mentorship is needed by everyone, Nayar says, no matter how successful they are. He references famed basketball coach Pat Riley, who once said that there was no great player who didn’t want to be coached. High achievers know that they need to continue learning, and they look to their leaders to teach them.

How are you doing in these three areas? How about your leaders?


Apple CEO Tim Cook Enlivens Stats with Context

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

CEOs who understand the power of stories enliven their presentations with tales that illustrate their points. Apple CEO Tim Cook uses another, related communication tool to help an audience understand the importance of what he’s saying: he uses analogies to put statistics in context.

For example, author and communication coach Carmine Gallo shares how Cook did this in a 2010 presentation. Telling the audience that the Mac business was still important to Apple even though the iPhone makes a lot more money, Cook said that if the Mac division were a separate company, its revenues of $22 billion would  place it #122 on the Fortune 500 list.

“I thought, ‘What a brilliant technique!” Gallo told a reporter for the Associated Press. “He does that all the time…. You can’t teach passion. Every great communicator is abundantly passionate about–not necessarily the product–but what the product means to society. And that is an attitude that pervades Apple’s executive office, and it starts with Tim Cook.”


What’s the Story on Micky Arison?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

“The Wall Street Journal” published an interesting but totally unsatisfactory explanation Monday of Micky Arison’s strange silence and elusiveness following the Costa Concordia’s tragic shipwreck off the coast of Italy. “Where is Micky Arison?” the newspaper asked, and it’s a question that must have been nagging at thousands, if not millions, of people around the globe as they read about the horrible outcome of the captain’s recklessness.

As the company’s ships lay partly submerged in a gut-wrenching position, divers carefully and heroically began the somber and dangerous task of searching for and recovering victims, and salvage operators pondered the best approach to safely recover the fuel and either right the ship or begin cutting in apart in place.

In the meantime, the ship’s captain and the CEO of Carnival’s Italian unit continued pointing fingers at one another, both shifting responsibility for the disastrous route the ship followed. All the while, Micky Arison, CEO of Carnival Corp., spoke nary a word about the tragedy, not even to offer condolences to passengers who survived the frightening, chaotic event, nor to those who lost loved ones, many of whom are still unaccounted for nearly two weeks later.

Owner of Carnival Cruise and a number of other well-known cruise lines, such as Holland America, Princess Cruises and Cunard, Carnival Corp. should have a well-thought-out, detailed crisis communication management plan at the ready, and it should be readily available to the captain on every ship.

Overall, cruises have proven to be an extremely safe form of transportation, particularly considering the huge number of passengers carried each year without a mishap. But no organization should be without a plan for handling unexpected events. To think  company doesn’t need an up-to-date action plan to quickly and effectively handle crises is at best ill-advised. When thousands of customers’ lives and limbs are at risk, it’s extremely careless, which is also an apt description of Mickey Arison’s behavior.

The WSJ’s story is at