The Wall Street Journal's Joann Lublin wrote a terrific column this week about "CEO disease." Specifically, she writes about how some executives become isolated, overconfident, and stubborn when they become CEOs. They ignore suggestions and recommendations, and they let their ego get in the way of making sound business decisions. Her column offers a few suggestions for curing CEO disease:
1. Surround yourself with highly capable people.
2. Encourage dissent and discourage people from behaving as yes-men.
3. Regularly admit and fix your mistakes.
4. Treat every employee with respect.
5. Find an objective sounding board outside the office.
I think it's a terrific list. Moreover, I think it applies to managers at all levels of an organization, not just at the CEO position. Front-line managers should also cultivate an objective sounding board, encourage dissent, and surround themselves with talented subordinates. In fact, if people engage in these practices early in their managerial career, they may be less likely to catch CEO disease if and when they rise to the top.