My dear friend and colleague, Bill Klepper, has just published a new book. To my knowledge, it is the first book intended to highlight the particular relationship between a CEO and the Board with practical, useful frameworks and detailed case studies. If this interests you, it would be good to add to your bookshelf. Here's what the publisher says about it:
· Every CEO and his/her board should have a social contract. The first element of that contract is a common commitment to "what they stand for as an organization." Klepper provides examples of companies with clear credos, such as the revitalized Tyco which has risen from the ashes as a result of following its social contract.
· Tough love is needed for a CEO and a Board to be an effective team. The CEO's Boss lays out how tough love in the Boardroom may have prevented Lehman's ultimate collapse in the fall of 2008. Klepper's Integrated Leadership Model synthesizes the research on an effective CEO's agenda, practices and style at each phase of the business cycle.
· CEO's need to improve on 8 practices to provide more effective leadership. These include facilitating innovation, motivating change, and developing others leadership skills, among others. As a consequence, Klepper offers a script for giving feedback to your CEO.
· Boards should evaluate the congruence between its strategic agenda and a CEO's leadership practices and style before hiring. Among the factors to consider is leadership behavior, during ups and downs of a business cycle. Klepper's CEO Alignment process provides four steps to greater congruence.
· The current recession and business failures have brought renewed attention to corporate governance practices. Klepper tells us how he foresees the relationship between Boards and CEO's to be different in the future.
In order to avoid another Enron, WorldCom, or Tyco, company directors have assumed a bold and independent role in the boardroom, monitoring the actions and day-to-day operations of the CEO. This dramatic shift has created a new dynamic, one that requires careful negotiation from both parties to get the job done. Giving directors, executives, investors, and stakeholders the tools to make this relationship work, William M. Klepper describes the best techniques for building a productive partnership and establishing a plan of action for a variety of businesses and settings.
Klepper, an executive educator, has worked with AT&T, Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson, Sony, Sun Microsystems, and a host of other corporations. He knows what makes a healthy partnership between a board and its CEO and the consequences of a bad fit. In this book, he details the eight practices of successful executives, such as facilitating innovation, motivating change, and developing leadership skills, and he explains what directors need to evaluate, such as working style, social behavior, and the handling of stress, before they commit to hiring a CEO.
The most critical element is the social contract, in which directors and their CEOs agree to be transparent, continually reassess their company's risk, maintain core company values, and make a commitment to their stakeholders. These include employees, shareholders, customers, and the community. In this essential volume, Klepper encourages directors to embrace their independence, and he teaches executives to value tough love.
William M. Klepper is a professor of management at Columbia Business School.
To read an excerpt or find out more about this work go to: Excerpt: The CEO's Boss