Investors should view the leadership of the companies in which they invest as Formula One drivers. In Formula One racing, all cars are state of the art. In addition to the unparalleled teamwork and cooperation illustrated by the racing crew, the difference in winning the race is, ultimately, the driver. The best driver(leader) provides the opportunity and possibility to win big time (achieve financial viability and stakeholder value).
But with the wrong leader, although you are still in the market and possess a good return on capital invested, you are “under-utilising” the powerful engine of your company and capital invested. Unfortunately, that under-performing scenario is present in many well-established companies today that are not successful in achieving their optimal potential.
So, what should you do? The practical and common sense answer is twofold:
1. Invest in technology, tools, systems, and approaches to help you identify, engage, and retain “only” the right leaders who can drive your company in the most efficient and effective manner possible toward the mile markers and ultimate finish line.
2. Stop arbitrarily picking people. Instead, start knowing who can truly drive your business at all levels — organisation, division, function, group, and team — if you want to outperform and succeed long-term with a company that balances the needs of all stakeholders as far as practically possible.
In other words, hire a talented driver, rev the powerful engines, and go!