Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Shrove Tuesday;CEO secrets !

I shall not be eating pancakes tonight . I am at an Indian restaurant in Berkeley Square . Its the annual CEO gathering organised by Harvey Nash, the headhunting firm . I regret that I shall not be eating pancakes , as the annual maintenance of our historic traditions is important at a time when people are forgetting such . I'm sure my Madras Curry will be superb , but it is NOT THE SAME THING .

What wisdom will I pick up from the flock of CEOs gathering tonight I wonder ?

I have just got hold of a book that I am reviewing called " The secrets of CEOs " . It is based on the opinions of 150 global Chief Executives , who, so the blurb says , " lift the lid on business, life and leadership . I thought this might be revealing . But then I looked inside the cover . Who ar these 150 CEOs? Well , they include one solitary Charity CEO. Just one;. Julia Middleton of Common Purpose ,and a member . And all the others are businessmen ( well a couple of women from business too , but not a lot ).

We can judge the value of the advice we will be receiving by the fact that the book is based on research into the great minds and thoughts of.......the CEO of LLoyds Bank , HBOS , Barclays and Bradford and Bingley ,

The arrogance of these people . I think it says it all about management studies and books like these that they assume the entire wisdom om how to run a business lies in the heads of the people who run our big companies and financial institutions. They clearly believe there is nothing of value to be learnt from the third sectoppr , or even the public sector .

I rather like Richard Branson's introduction to this tome ,

" I must admit I'm not a great reader of business books. To be honest when we started Virgin some 40 years ago we totally ignored the established business theories and strategies and struck out determined to do things differently . "

Spot on . A lesson for us all.

I do hope we will now see some recalibration in the leadership and management schools . They will stop bending the knee to these overpaid and now clearly exposed failures and start to learn leadership from the social sector. And that applies to politiicans , including some of the new labour stalwarts who need to get over their post socialist awe of big business. As I dip into said book I will share with you any nuggets that I find . But don't hold your breath . Perhaps we can use this as a manual of things not to do ?

As Lent fast approaches i can share with you what the Bubb will be giving up: Cakes and biscuits and all manner of sweets and chocolate. I should , in any case not indulge as I have type 2 diabetes so it is a happy marriage of religiosity and health promotion .The acevo staff have been warned. If you see me with a biscuit its 20 Hail Mary's .

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