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Kudos to Joann Lublin, management news editor at The Wall Street Journal, for her excellent work in writing about leadership and other management issues.  Her work is one reason I value my WSJ digital subscription. Joann and I are email acquaintances.  

iStock_000021118263XSmallI am a little late in drawing attention to a nice story she wrote on Monday, September 16, because I spent most of my time this summer and early fall on assorted United Airlines’ flights and in Hilton Hotels all across America.  

Her piece featured former CEOs Doug Conant of Campbell Soup and Fred Hassan of Pharmacia Corp.  These two men achieved great success, in part, because they subscribe to good values and beliefs.  They have also both been responsible for helping talented colleagues reach the corner office, a tough prize/accomplishment in these new economic times.

Here are four lessons current or aspiring CEOs should consider:

  1. Demonstrate good judgment in timing decisions.  There is a time for speed and a time for deliberate action.  You have to know the difference
  2. Build credibility with the Board of Directors.  Producing great numbers is not enough to ensure a successful tenure.  The CEO-Board relationship is chock full of nuance.  Do not take this for granted
  3. Play a hands-on role in setting direction
  4. Navigate bumps in the road

If you are a WSJ subscriber, here is the link.  If you are not a subscriber, be forewarned, you may encounter Rupert Murdoch’s pay-t0-read firewall.