Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Criteria for choosing a candidate: Hope and Inspiration

Imagine that you are on the Board of Directors and are seeking a new CEO for Citigroup (largest loss in its 196 year history) and Merrill Lynch (worst results in its 94 year history). You have 3 candidates who are trying to prove to you that they will do the best job of turning those historic losses into profits.

Candidate #1 tells you how he will inspire the employees to work harder.

Candidate #2 says she has 35 years of experience during which time she has successfully coped with a variety of problems. She provides a detailed plan.

Candidate #3 has a lot of energy and a reputation as a goto guy. He identifies the primary cause for the losses, the people and actions responsible, and offers a general plan for recovery.

I suspect that you would not turn the job over to candidate #1.

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