Leadership – From Good to Great Executive

Good morning and how’s your day!


So, how’s your capability as a leader and executive?

Good? Hmn, its not enough.

We must exceed and become great every time.

Especially for today’s economic challenges in year 2016.

Steve jobs2


Ok, lets see one by one.

  1. Decrease on oil price to less than USD 30 per barrel.
  2. Decrease on China economic growth.
  3. Gradual increase on US interest rate.
  4. Increase on digital way /robot to life and work.

Those aspects are only a little news that would impact our life in year 2016 or even in next few years.

Maybe some of those aspects could blow-up to another good event.

I hope it’s not financial crisis in year 2008.

The financial crisis, subprime mortgage in USA, impacted to another countries and global area.

You could refresh a memory of it by watch movie “The Big Short”


I like the movie because it could show us the situation in easy way, even for peoples who don’t have a clue about the crisis.

From this part, we focus on another things, and not about the movie.

We are focusing on opportunity from what could happen in worst case event.

On that movie, yes, some peoples use their Executive capabilities to predict the future by past event and calculation.

First, as an Executive, they know about the industry/economic (global and local). In year 2005, Michael Burry (Christian Bale) discovered about collapse on housing market in Q2-2007. Another person, a Trader, Jarret Vennett (Ryan Gosling) and Mark Baum (Steve Carell) hear about it. Finally, young investor (Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock)) accidentally discover a paper from Jarret and discuss with retired banker Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt).

They have read about past transaction and predict the future. From reading and analysis, they presume to create something that insane and dumb idea for most of the people in industry. On that time, the property and mortgage was increase and become on highest growth. But, these special peoples predict that they need to create a blue ocean strategy to accommodate a change in next few years. These peoples know the real situation rather than the most peoples in industry.

Second, they are good at their business, understand what kind of development from outside that could impacted on their business. They read from the global, then local, then specific industry, what’s going on. They would align the company’s strategy with that analysis. Yes, at first time, most peoples would reject and not pro with you. But, as an Executive, they must show that the decision is taken from good analysis and prediction.

Third, these peoples are absolutely great a decision maker. The have conduct deep analysis, research, and discuss with expert. They have a comprehensive analysis that could back up the decision.

Then, the forth is deep connection and trusting relationships with everyone and deep connection. The decisions made is not only from their own judgement, by support by the team. Michael got support from new employee, Mark from team’s research, and Charlie from Ben.

Finally, at the end of the movie said that almost nobody involved in the creation of the CDO bubble is arrested, and Bespoke CDO are soon sold again. The US government has bailout some big companies, one of them is AIG, my former employer. They said – too big to fail.


Someone told me that in next more than 25 years, some type of work in some industry will eliminated from current market.

  1. People from financial. Today’s internet and digital work has changed it. You can find elimination on psychical branch, some admin & reporting task, automatic cash deposit machine, decrease human function on call center/customer services.
  1. Use of robot in manufactures. For this things, I remember movie I-Robot.

They’re using robot with AI and after that, the Robot would take over the entire human business.

I am not discuss about the takeover, but I am focus on current situation where the workers are not use anymore due to efficiency.

It’s happen and we are need to face the change.

As an Executive, we need to read from the changes and conduct innovation.


I gave you an examples.

Go-jek, one of phenomenal transportation in Jakarta, Indonesia.


They change the way of people think. The owner read that Jakarta need a good and reliable transportation since the current transportation is not enough. They change the traditional way into digital way. On industrial way, they understand that these kind of transportation is still needed by most people in big cities in Indonesia, and peoples are tired of bad public transportation and traffic jam. Even Jakarta is the worst traffic jam in the world. On business way, Nadiem (owner GoJek), see the business opportunities, at least the booming until public transportation in Indonesia is good enough. He also use google as tracker for the driver and safety on peoples. After his analysis the situation, he make a decision to create this business. It’s not waiting for a long time, this business is booming and become leader in today’s market. Finally, on deep and trust relationship, he got people’s heart, not only few, but maybe a million peoples, especially in big cities in Jakarta. When a minister of transportation wants to eliminate this .


Hmm, maybe you are still wondering why?

Let’s see another examples.

Joe Gebbia, Airbnb – Inspired by furniture designers Charles and Ray Eames, Gebbia relies on simplicity and constant curiosity to stay fresh. Airbnb also experiments with new ideas in the San Francisco market–getting feedback from hosts and guests.

Have you try Airbnb? I did, when visit Tokyo, last year. I use it for my accommodation plan, as same as emergency plan when late on catching a last train in Kyoto. It’s a wonderful and helpful since we can analysis the other guest’s comment. Joe, as on owner, who that there are a blue ocean in this industry and business. They he make a decision to create the system and also make a deep connection from host and guests. Simple but powerful.


Okay, let close this Leadership season with lesson to learn.

Team Concept

What kind of aspects needed from Good to Great Executive nowadays?

  1. Understand about change and trend on industry and business.
  2. Can execute and make a decision more powerful.
  3. Keep contact and deep relationship with all stakeholders.
  4. They get things to be done.
  5. Focus on opportunities and effective meeting rather than problem and high bureaucracy.
  6. Took responsible, communicative, and always say “We” than “I”.


I hope this article can accompany your tea time or even nice story for bed time.

Good luck for your Executive role.



You can read another article with same subject, from another author, as follow.



Leadership – A 10-Year Study Reveals What Great Executives Know and Do

Despite the huge impact executives can have on their organizations, failure rates remain high. Prescriptions for what to do continue to fall short. So we wondered: If we closely studied the executives who succeed in top jobs once appointed, could we identify distinguishing features that set them apart and defined their success?

As part of our ten-year longitudinal study on executive transitions, which included more than 2,700 leadership interviews, we did a rigorous statistical analysis (including more than 90 regression analyses) to isolate the skills of the top-performing executives. We isolated seven performance factors correlated to strong organizational performance as well as leadership strengths through IBM Watson’s content analysis tools as well as historical performance reviews of these leaders and their direct reports. These seven factors led to our discovery of four recurring patterns that distinguished exceptional executives. What separated the “best of the best” from everyone else is a consistent display of mastery across four highly correlated dimensions, while “good” executives may have only excelled in two or three. Executives who shine across all four of these dimensions achieve the greatest success for themselves and their organizations.

  1. They know the whole business

Exceptional executives have deep knowledge of how the pieces of the organization fit together to create value and deliver results. Many leaders arrive into the C-suite having grown up in functions like Marketing or Finance and lean too heavily on instincts and cognitive biases shaped by their ascent within those disciplines. Leaders who ran one business of a multi-business enterprise often favor that business within the larger portfolio. Exceptional executives defy such predispositions in order to integrate the entire organization into a well synchronized machine. Executives develop breadth by broadening their exposure to the full organization and taking assignments across disciplines.

They also focus on strengthening the organization’s seams to minimize poor coordination and fragmentation while maximizing the things the organization must do in competitively distinct ways. One client struggled for years to consistently meet customer satisfaction expectations. In comparative rankings they were generally at or near the bottom of the list. When quarterly forecasts were missed again, Sales retrenched to fix a pricing issue, Customer Marketing focused on better content, and Supply Chain tried to stay ahead of last-minute changes. When all their well-intentioned, but separate, solutions showed up at retail, customer satisfaction never improved. It was the head of R&D who forced all the functions into a room to solve the problem systemically. Together, they revealed obstinate issues of coordination and contradicting priorities between functions who needed to synch up to meet customer expectations. A year later their customer satisfaction improved by 40%.

  1. They are great decision-makers

Exemplary executives have the ability to declare their views, engage others’ ideas, analyze data for insights, weigh alternatives, own the final call, and communicate the decision clearly. This skill inspires markedly higher confidence and focus among those they lead. Because they’re good decision-makers, they’re also good prioritizers, since setting priorities is all about selectively choosing from among various tradeoffs. Focusing on a few priorities helps these executives ensure successful execution and avoid overwhelming the system with competing goals. They also ensure accountability is crystal clear to the organization.

At the heart of great decision making lies a balance between instinct and analytics. On one end of the continuum are leaders who “trust their guts.” They combine experience and emotion into well-developed intuition. On the other end of the continuum is the leader who relies on exhaustively mining data for insightful perspective to address the decision or problem they face. Exceptional executives function fluidly along this entire continuum, and recognize where their predispositions lie for either being overly impulsive or paralyzed by analysis..

Making good decisions seems to be a comparatively rare skill. In one McKinsey survey of 2,207 executives, only 28% said that the quality of strategic decisions in their companies was generally good, 60% thought that bad decisions were about as frequent as good ones, and the remaining 12% thought good decisions were altogether infrequent. This is consistent with our own findings. The proclivity of bad decision making is usually intensified by poor decision-making systems in organizations. So even leaders whose instincts might otherwise be effective have their ability compromised.

  1. They know the industry

Exceptional executives maintain a solid grasp on the ever-changing context within which their business competes. Their natural contextual intelligence lies at the intersection of insights into how their organization uniquely competes and makes money, and what is most relevant to the customers they serve ─ even when customers may not know themselves.

The ability to apply intricate wisdom of one’s business to emerging competitive threats requires the ability to see trends and emerging possibilities on a multi-year horizon. Too often, leaders are stymied by competing investment options or caught flatfooted in the face of profit shortfalls. Lacking an understanding of how value is delivered to their market, they make suboptimal investments. More typically, they reflexively make across-the-board cost cuts that restrict their ability to maneuver in a shifting competitive arena.

The leaders who scored highest on this skill were described as having innate curiosity and deep knowledge of their business context which they apply to wider economic, technological, and customer trends. Armed with a clear point of view, these exemplars more readily addressed threats and took earlier advantage of opportunities. Executives develop context by grounding themselves in external realities of their organization, by remaining curious about adjacent industries, and seeking disconfirming data about commonly held assumptions regarding their company.

  1. They form deep, trusting relationships

Every organization has executives everyone wants to work for. These executives form deep connections with superiors, peers, and direct reports, studying and meeting the needs of key stakeholders. They communicate in compelling ways and reach beyond superficial transactions to form mutually beneficial, trusting relationships. Their legacy becomes a positive reputation within the organization for consistently delivering results while genuinely caring for those who deliver them.

It was no surprise that of the four dimensions, relational failure led to the quickest demise among second-best executives. While exceptional executives led with a humble confidence that graciously extended care to others, second-best executives were inclined to manage perceptions, creating the illusion of collaboration while masking self-interested motives. Executives develop connection by investing heavily in their own emotional and social intelligence, actively solicit feedback about how others experience them, and learn to be vulnerable with their shortcomings to create trust with others.

There’s a lot of research on the importance of executive relationships. One study revealed that executive’s fears of appearing incompetent, underachieving, and political attacks from rivals accounted for 60% of bad behavior among executive team relationships. Another study supports our findings that among the high failure rate of transitioning executives, failed relationships account for a disproportionately higher percentage of all executive failure.

All four of these attributes are learn-able, and it’s never too early to start developing these skills. Consider where in your current role you have the greatest opportunity for more impact, and which of these four dimensions might be holding you back. You will quickly find they are highly interrelated. So learning more about your own company’s business may require building relationships in others departments. Making sharper investment choices might require learning more about your industry’s changing context. Pick one place to start that will accelerate your impact, and you will be surprised at how quickly you and others see the difference.


Author: Ron Carucci

Date: January 19, 2016

Link: http://www.ceo.com/flink/?lnk=https%3A%2F%2Fhbr.org%2F2016%2F01%2Fa-10-year-study-reveals-what-great-executives-know-and-do&id=332166



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