CEO tenures are shorter than ever before. Whether it’s pressure from an activist investor like that Bill Ackman is putting on Bob McDonald at P&G or a personal scandal, somebody’s always on the hot seat.As Barbara Kellerman, author of The End Of Leadership, writes at the Ivey Business Journal, that’s due to some long term cultural shifts.
CEOs aren’t the bosses the used to be
Large investors hold increasing sway over boards and CEOs, putting intense pressure on executives. No longer content to be silent partners, they have the ability and willpower to force an agenda or changes.
Flatter organisations mean that decisions, once carried out with little question, are subject to criticism and response.
Technology means more information and more criticism
In the past, the way CEOs communicated was almost entirely from the top down. Now, it’s much more of a two way street.
When something goes wrong at a company, the CEO becomes the centre of a firestorm of criticism from all angles, as Jamie Dimon saw after the London Whale scandal.
They have to be nice
Though there are some notable exceptions, the days of CEOs ruling by fear are waning. ‘Command and control’ style leadership is increasingly being replaced by a team model with less personal power for CEOs.
Most of these changes are good things. When CEOs have too much personal power, they can be more likely to abuse it. When they’re more accountable to investors, employees, and customers, hopefully executives will make better decisions
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.