The recent corporate scandals, from Libor fixing to horse meat in our burgers, has shone a bright light on the role and character of business and banking leaders as never before.
The speed with which famous CEOs swiftly depart is an indication that the nature of leadership has changed fundamentally.
I’ve explored this idea of transparent leadership in my latest blog for Harriman house on their intelligence website.
The key drivers in this change are two fold
Firstly, the internet and social media has shifted communication power from a few centralised figures (eg. Rupert Murdoch and the TV) who could be bought off by corporate communication departments, to the many – ie. anyone with a mobile phone and an opinion.
Secondly, the credit crunch followed by the slump in growth has led many people to question the value of superstar CEOs or overly paid bankers. For all their wealth and earnings, they didn’t quite save the world from near economic catastrophe and people on ordinary salaries are no longer tolerant of these highly paid figures of authority.
Hence, we now admire leaders such as Steve Jobs the great business innovator, who despite his well known character flaws, was the real deal.
With Jobs, you knew what you were getting – and his personality defined Apple and supported our confidence that we were buying exception products.
That is why I believe the time of the transparent leader is here to stay.