Before Dr Robert Kuhn became an investment banker, he studied to be a doctor. As a banker running a firm doing M&A for medium-sized companies, he described himself as "like a doctor examining a very large number of particular patients: One comes to recognize the symptoms of their special diseases and comes to learn how best to treat them."
After 12 years of this, Kuhn has identified 12 diseases common in CEOs, some of which can morph stealthily into major corporate illnesses:
- Talking Too Much (You never learn by talking)
- Goals Too Aggressive (Unrealistic goals demotivate)
- Power Building Trumps Wealth Building (I want a CEO whose greed exceeds his ego!)
- Not Respecting or Recognizing the Ideas of Others
- Seeing Only Summaries (the real world is often cluttered and chaotic)
- Don't Fall in Love (emotional attachment must not interfere with rational decision-making)
- Feeling Invincible
- Personnel Too Similar (and thus too uniform in their thinking)
- Generalizations (averages can deceive)
- Not Asking the "Stupid" Question (You learn by asking)
- Falling for Current Trends (be they macroscopic movements or management theories)
- Falling for Contemporary Tricks
So does your CEO suffer from one or more of these diseases – or are they a paragon of good health.?