The role of the chief executive in a transformed organisation is an extremely challenging one. The development of vision, building a commitment to it and communicating it constantly are key skills for a chief executive. However, the need to build and empower the stakeholders within and outside the organisation to support the changes required to deliver the vision requires leaders who can connect with a wide range of people and build alliances and partnerships to secure organisational success. A passion for understanding human intervention and behaviour is needed to encourage, cajole and drive teams and individuals to own and commit to change and a new direction. This requires leaders who have imagination and creativity ‐ who seek connections and thread them together to create order out of incoherence. These skills are not taught in schools or textbooks, but are probably innate. They are what separate leaders from the rest. These skills need to be developed. A movement towards encouraging experimentation, career transfers and more individuality is needed if capable leaders of the future are to appear.
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