If Your CEO is in the office….

August 17, 2009

If Your CEO is in the office….

    Have to make this quick. Seems like I have been very busy for mid-August. But feel terribly guilty when I don’t blog. What’s with me?
I was just glancing through the Booz & Co. CEO succession report that I enjoy so much every year. There are always interesting nuggets that are worth repeating and musing about. Here is a good one because I like to use it when talking about the importance of CEO engagement and visibility. The researchers found that 80 percent of a CEO’s day is spent in meetings, vists with clients and in symbolic, ceremonial events. The remaining 20% is spent behind a desk. Reality Check– most of a CEO’s work gets done outside the office (with employees, customers, etc.) , as it should.

This Booz finding fits with the advice of P&G’s former CEO Alan Lafley who authored an article in Harvard Business Review on what only the CEO can do. He said, “The CEO alone experiences the meaningful outside at an enterprise level and is responsible for understanding it, interpreting it, advocating for it, and presenting it so that the company can respond in a way that enables sustainable sales, profit, and total shareholder return growth.” The CEO’s job is to link the inside and outside together. Only the CEO has the enterprise wide view that can be brought inside to direct the organization. That is really what drives CEO reputation — engaging stakeholders.

So if your CEO spends a lot of time in the office, something must be wrong.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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