I just finished reading the latest edition of Chief Executive Magazine, and the article that really caught my attention was the selection of Jim McNerney as CEO of the Year. Jim has been the CEO of Boeing for the past ten years and was a top performer at 3M and GE before his current post. This program has been in place since 1993, and the selection committee uses 11 key elements to guide their decisions. I thought it would be worth sharing the list so that you might reflect on how you stack up on each element. I added some of my own thoughts to each element to further explain what I think the selection committee intends. You may agree or disagree with what I have added.
Criteria for Evaluating a Chief Executive of the Year:
- Courage – to make new, difficult and sometimes unpopular choices with the tenacity to see them through.
- Leadership – to inspire and lead others to be their best and accomplish the organization’s goals to create a better future.
- Vision – to create and guide the organization to an envisioned future that promotes profitable growth while fulfilling the organization’s mission.
- Demonstrable impact on company, industry and business in general – to act responsibly and move all forward in a manner that produces evolutionary and sometimes revolutionary offerings and technology.
- Degree of difficulty – the ability to lead a complex organization with a lot of moving parts in a technologically advanced industry.
- Sustained performance – to produce consistent results year after year.
- Employee engagement, leadership development and internal people processes - to be able to bring the best out of people, develop, mentor, and build the best team of “A players" with a bench to sustain and grow the organization.
- Innovativeness – to be able to create new products and services that improve people’s lives and advance the current thinking.
- External benchmarks – to create customer and shareholder value.
- Moral dimension, personal character: to demonstrate a coherent “higher” purpose, beyond making money.
- CEO respect/beacon of excellence/reputation – to be someone that others approve of and aspire to emulate.
Please give some thought to how you, your organization and peers would rate you on each of these elements. Are there any elements you feel need improvement? Is there one area you might want to work on this month? You may want to discuss the list with your mentor if you have one and develop a path of progress to work on the appropriate areas.
Please let me know your thoughts, and feel free to add your take on what you think each element represents.
Good luck and lead well, Alan