Do leaders get “selected” by the times they live in, or “self-select” – put themselves forward because they recognise this is their time?
What is the primary responsibility of business leaders today? Is it to make a financial return for their shareholders? Or is it to contribute more broadly to the welfare of employees and society as a whole?
Consultant, investor and author David Pitt-Watson occupies a unique niche.
“How and why do businesses take the sorts of decisions that they do? What are the ones that work? What are the ones that don’t work?”
The failure of big companies to adapt to their changing circumstances is one of the fundamental puzzles in the world of business. Occasionally, a genuinely “disruptive” technology, such as digital imaging, comes along and wipes out an entire industry. But usually the sources of failure are more prosaic and more avoidable.
What are the lessons of Sir Alex Ferguson’s 27-year tenure as manager of Manchester United? Pundits and former players have been falling over each other to praise Ferguson’s successes and his ability to bring out the best in his players. But I think there are some wider lessons for the business world that can be learnt from his lengthy reign, and from the way he has handled his departure.