Wanted: Leaders with New Perspectives
A new poll of 135 chief executives and presidents of retail
chains finds that 74 percent expect to look outside the industry for new leaders
over the next five years.
The survey conducted by Herbert Mines Associates
and Women’s Wear Daily found
that among those who plan to look outside the industry, 69 percent are looking
for "leaders with a new perspective." Fifty-two percent seek individuals "better
prepared for new ways business is conducted."
While not looking for a job
in retail (as far as we know), Arkadi Kuhlmann, chairman and president of ING
Direct USA, might be the type of leader that chains would be wise to recruit.
Kuhlmann recently spoke with Adam Bryant of The New York Times.
Among his observations:
- "Leadership is about service, and you can’t lead if you can’t
- "I’m asking the employees again, would you vote for me to serve
with you another year… I’m willing to be accountable to them, not
because I work for them in a broader sense, but I’ve got to walk the
talk, right? So if I keep walking around saying all the time that our associates
are so important, then why don’t they have a say in terms of whether
or not I’m leading?"
- "You can’t be a rebel if you don’t have something to prove.
You can’t be an outlier unless you want to actually turn the tables
- "The other thing I’ve learned is that a lot of times, things
work a lot better when I’m not there."
Discussion Questions: How do you think the current leadership in the retail
industry compares to other fields? What leadership attributes or expertise
would you like to see brought from outside retailing?
- New Survey of Top Management in Retail… – Herbert Mines Associates
- Putting Himself Up for Re-Election (by His Staff) – The New York Times