CEOs Need Help
By Ed Lopit, Owner at Best in Class Solutions
The popular conception of a CEO is similar in many ways to the idealized image of a sea captain: A solitary individual standing alone, eyes steadfast on the horizon, a strong hand on the tiller guiding the way, confident, calm, and in full control even in heavy seas.
The reality is usually very different. I’ve worked with many CEOs and the first thing they concede is that they can’t do it alone. Navigating to success requires access to a broad tool kit of skills, experience and expertise. They need a crew to share the load and bring capabilities to complement their own. In the business world, that crew is the leadership team. How a CEO constructs that team is absolutely essential to the company’s health. Tending to this team is a priority for any CEO, especially during the “heavy seas” of today’s challenging economy.
Demand for Executive Talent is Rising
According to the 2008 IBM Global Human Capital Study, over 75% of respondents identified building leadership talent as their current and most significant capabilities challenge. With an improved economy on the horizon it’s an even greater issue today. As organizations prepare for the promise of growth the need for high quality executive talent is only going to increase.
Filling Open Positions is Getting Harder, and Harder
Despite high overall unemployment, businesses are finding management and executive roles notoriously hard to fill. This trend promises to continue. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 29% of executives become eligible for retirement between 2009 and 2014. As this exodus plays out, the available executive talent pool constricts.
Another growing trend is the number of executives who are shunning the full-time employment track to offer their services on a contract basis in the open market. A study by MBO partners indicates there are more than 10 million independent experts in the U.S. today. The shift from employee to independent is expected to swell in the coming years as individuals with much needed experience and skills chart this new course.
These indicators point to a situation where availability of skilled managers and executives to fill senior level corporate positions is diminishing at exactly the time it is needed most. Accessing these critically needed resources will be no easy task, but It’s time to prepare for a recovering economy. CEOs that do the best job securing needed skills and experience in this changing and highly competitive environment will reap huge benefits as the economy recovers.
Do you see the trends discussed here affecting your ability to fill open executive positions in the years ahead?
About the Author: Ed Lopit is Principal of Best in Class Solutions, a provider of coaching, consulting, and interim services to small and medium size businesses (to 500+ employees). As advisor, confidant, and hands-on executive, Ed brings great ideas to life by building profitable, sustainable businesses that are the absolute best at what they do.