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CEO Daily Brief – Nov. 5, 2010

Executives Await Friendlier Climate in Washington, D.C. Business executives said they are counting on the electoral shock delivered to Democrats …

Executives Await Friendlier Climate in Washington, D.C.

Business executives said they are counting on the electoral shock delivered to Democrats Tuesday to bring a slowdown in federal regulation, tax cuts and a more business-friendly stance in Washington. But how quickly Republicans can translate rhetoric about rolling back President Barack Obama’s regulatory agenda into action isn’t clear, given a divided Congress and opposition from the White House.

President Obama, in a news conference Wednesday, took responsibility for the deterioration in his administration’s relationship with corporate America. Obama said he needed to “make clear to the business community, as well as to the country, that the most important thing we can do is to boost and encourage our business sector and make sure that they’re hiring.” To read more on the business agenda in Washington, from The Wall Street Journal, please click here.

Roles Are Changing for CFOs

Roles are changing for chief financial officers and most are content to remain in their posts. Seventy-three percent of the CFOs surveyed in a report by Ernst & Young see their role as a destination in its own right and only 10 percent harbor an ambition to be the CEO.

The CFO is playing an increasingly broad and vital role within today’s organizations, says the report based on a survey of 669 senior finance professionals in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa, and interviews with leading CFOs and finance directors from these regions. A large proportion of CFOs feel their contribution to strategy focuses on providing insight and analysis to support the CEO and ensuring that business decisions are grounded in sound financial criteria, the study says. In addition, a growing number of CFOs are adding operational responsibilities for functions such as IT and property to their portfolios.

For more about the survey, please click here.

Untapping the Secrets of Charismatic Leadership

CEOs know that it’s important to motivate employees. But new evidence suggests that even those who lack charisma can still mobilize a team by following a tried-and-true formula. A new study also suggests that introverts often outperform extroverts at the top. Displaying charismatic leadership is one of the most effective ways to boost everything from motivation and creativity to productivity and plain old satisfaction.

The more reserved style of introverted leaders can actually inspire better performance in followers. Researchers Adam Grant of the Wharton School, Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School, and David Hofmann at the University of North Carolina found that if the employees are an extroverted, proactive bunch by nature, the team will perform better under the leadership of an introvert than under an extrovert. Introverted leaders are more likely to take a team approach to problem-solving and to let talented team members spread their wings. If you need to light a fire under a more reserved group, a little charisma in your messaging can go a long way. The first thing you have to do is couch your message in a story form. To find out more about using charisma, as reported by Business Week, please click here.

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