Picking the Good Fight: Leadership in the Boardroom and C-Suite

Leadership in the boardroom and the C-suite increasingly requires a balance of wisdom and mettle. This is particularly true in the age of activist investors, social media and proxy advisory firms. Leaders need wisdom to ask the right questions, recognize possible scenarios and risks, and understand the dynamics in play.

However, perhaps even more than in the past, these leaders must also summon the mettle to dramatically increase the pace of decisions to fit a window of opportunity, or to intentionally forge a strategic path that involves either a battle or a setback in near-term business performance.

“get ahead of messaging and create a plan for proactively telling your story and dealing with negative press (both internal and external).” – DEborah rubin, rhr international

Here are 4 things to consider that leverage both wisdom and mettle.

1. The need to buy time or find the right moment. If this is the go-to response, the odds are that the appeal stems from fear versus wisdom. Windows of opportunity tend to close, and storms may increase in substance.

2. Action is better than no action. However, inaction reinforces stasis and second-guessing. With no forward movement, the organization can find itself being left behind.

3. Ongoing avoidance erodes options. Earlier battles are sometimes easier to win or weather than those left too long.

4. Create a compelling message. In this age of social media, it is important to get ahead of messaging and to create a plan for proactively telling your story and dealing with negative press (both internal and external).

The worthy fights are those required for the success and sustainability of the business, even if they are painful in the short-term.

Click here to read RHR International Senior Partner Deborah Rubin’s complete blog post on leadership in the boardroom.


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