April 7, 2005
Excerpts: Lack of Leadership
When you look into CEO suites these days, you find many veterans of finance or operations but very few with a background in marketing, sales, or human relations. Corporate leaders are experts in efficiency and number crunching but are not well versed in human aspects. After several decades of experience, such executives tend to view the world through the lens that makes them most comfortable, the same perspective that got them to the top job. Like most people, they simply stay in their comfort zone.
Customer strategies require leadership that sees the business from the customers view, not through a spreadsheet. Such strategies require leaders with people skills and a sincere appreciation of human assets. The odds are against finance or operations specialists, trained for years in the art of number crunching, as they try to rise to the challenge. They are not to be blamed, because years of habit cannot be erasedbut it does not change the fact that true leaders who get it are missing in the ranks of upper management.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.