April 5, 2006

News & Opinion: Daily Drucker for April 5th

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 5:39 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

Picking a Leader

What would I look for in picking a leader of an institution? First, I would look at what they candidates have done, what their strengths are. You can only perform with strength--and what have they done with it? Second, I would look at the institution and ask: "What is the one immediate key challenge?" I would try to match the strength with the needs.

Then I would look for integrity. A leader sets an example especially a strong leader. He or she is somebody on whom people, especially younger people, in the organization model themselves. Many years ago I learned from a very wise old man, who was the head of a very large, worldwide organization. He was in his late seventies, famous for putting the right people into the right enterprises, all over the globe. I asked him: "What do you look for?" And he said: "I always ask myself, would I want one of my sons to work under that person? If he is successful, the young people will imitate him. Would I want my son to look like this?" This, I think, is the ultimate question.

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.