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Directors & Boards – Attracting the Right CEO

  • August 2018

With the average tenure of a CEO clocking in at six years, most directors at some point will have to deal with the hiring of the top manager, says Lisa Blais, co-head of board practice with Egon Zehnder leadership advisory firm. But while there will always be people who want occupy the CEO seat, boards can’t just call up an executive recruiter and say: “Send me a Mary Barra [GM CEO].”  Leaders who have experience with disruption and change are scarce, she explains.

“There aren’t enough CEOs that meet that requirement,” she adds. “There’s a shortage of transformational leaders.”

This puts top CEOs in the driver’s seat, she maintains. That means boards will have to “do as much selling as the candidate.”

But directors should not be discouraged by the size of the challenge a company may be facing when trying to find top talent for the corner office. They must focus on an organization’s opportunities and the challenges that a potential CEO would be excited to take on. The key to getting the right CEO excited includes promoting the company, the culture and the board of directors themselves. Below are a few best practices for finding the right CEO:

  • Create an executive search committee that has solid and respected members
  • Be open and objective: evergreen candidate lists have their limitations
  • Look for elements exhibiting an individual’s potential in the future


Full Story: Attracting the Right CEO by Maureen Milford. August 2018


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