To an ever greater degree, CEOs are being judged on their leadership abilities as well as their managerial skills – and are being held accountable for the health of their company’s culture. Some, such as Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, are celebrated as success stories. Others, including Travis Kalanick of Uber and John Stumpf of Wells Fargo, bear the brunt of corporate scandals. This view of the CEO as leader, not just manager, is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of U.S. business – it was first articulated by Harvard business professor Abraham Zaleznik in 1977 – but it has taken hold to the point where few question it today. “The organization reflects the behavior and characteristics of the CEO, and that establishes the culture,” wrote venture capitalist Peter Levine in summing up the prevailing view.read full report
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Uber founder Travis Kalanick speaks at a 2016 conference. Kalanick reaped credit for his company’s explosive growth, but was forced to resign amid allegations of a toxic corporate culture. (Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg via Getty Images)