Good leadership is about being prepared, says former CIA official Henry Crumpton. That can mean traveling with a proper toolkit -- Crumpton suggests always carrying duct tape, safety pins and a bandana -- but it's also about cultivating a flexible, unflappable state of mind. "CEOs must prepare for more of the unfamiliar and, sometimes, deal with what they had thought was improbable, perhaps impossible," he explains.
CEOs need to take preemptive action now to prevent an exodus of key workers, warns management consultant Ram Charan. Only by knowing which of their workers they truly depend on can bosses devise effective create viable retention strategies or reshuffle without derailing their organizations, Charan argues. "CEOs are focused closely on profitable growth. But I want quarterly reviews of people the way they do quarterly reviews of numbers," he says.
Versace is a unique company: a luxury brand that went global and a family brand that developed at a time when high fashion was shifting to corporate, professionally run companies. But despite gaining unprecedented access to the Versace clan, Ball fails to offer a serious account of the company's role in the development of the modern luxury-goods sector, according to this reviewer.
The U.S. government is about to boost its ownership of Citigroup, and word is that Vikram Pandit will be allowed to stay on as CEO. What a deal that is: Miserable shareholders, regulatory crackdown, congressional inquisition, public fury -- all for a salary of $1 a year. "CEOs seem to be falling into the same kind of sphere as politicians as among the most hated and most vilified people in America," says John Challenger, head of the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. By one estimate, 40% of CEOs won't stay with a company long enough to celebrate a second anniversary.
Critics of Porsche's financial strategy have mocked the automaker as a "a hedge fund with a car showroom attached," but INSEAD Professor Randel Carlock says Porsche has a hidden asset: Family shareholders who are committed to a shared vision. Ferdinand Piech, a member of the Porsche clan, championed the company's acquisition of VW, and Carlock credits Porsche's nonfamily CEO, Wendelin Wiedeking, and the management team for delivering it. The company has great values, governance and strategies, Carlock says. Its cars aren't bad either.