Leaders Of Tomorrow: Understanding The Softer Side Of People Manage
Industry TrendsLeadershipIndustrialOperations and Supply ChainExecutive Search
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March 23, 2018
Industry TrendsLeadershipIndustrialOperations and Supply ChainExecutive Search
The Supply Chain Asia article, “Leaders Of Tomorrow: Understanding The Softer Side Of People Manage," features an interview with Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Pascal Bécotte, who shares his insights into the current and future trends of the supply chain industry. The article is excerpted below. 
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Supply Chain Asia

In 2004, only eight per cent of Fortune 200 companies had a Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO). Today, the percentage of organisations having someone responsible for overseeing a combination of end-to-end supply-chain functions have increased to 68 per cent. Several prominent companies have even considered tapping leaders with specific global supply chain experience for the CEO role. Due to this phenomenon, Russell Reynolds Associates finds out what traits make CSCOs different from other executives, and how the CSCO role is evolving today. 

“One key differentiator amongst other senior executives, is the ability for CSCO to orchestrate strategic partnerships across the whole ecosystem, both internally and externally. CSCOs must exhibit strong influential and communication skills – to understand the business, formulate strategies, and work with stakeholders from the shop floor to the boards,” says Mr Pascal Becotte, Global Leader for the Operations & Supply Chain Officers Practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. 

In this issue of Supply Chain Asia magazine, Pascal shares the importance of culture fit, the impact female leaders have on the industry and what millennials can do to develop their leadership skills. 

What would you say is the single, most important thing you’ve learnt in your 16 years of search experience? 

Leadership is complex, and people are not always who they appear to be. I have learnt in my years of search to never judge a book by its cover. Leadership qualities that worked in the past and today, may no longer be relevant in the future or for the hiring organisation. 

It is vital to seriously consider the culture fit and the quiet or softer side of the leaders, instead of just their loud characteristics. Many a time, leaders are hired for having all the right competencies but fired for being unable to fit in with the organisation’s culture. For instance, a confident leader may shut down others’ point of views, or a charismatic leader may veer towards manipulative behaviour under a distress or challenging period. 

I believe in over-investing upfront to ensure that the process and the understanding of the leadership role are clear. In the search process, apart from the interviews, deep learning and scientific psychometric analyses should also be applied to better understand and profile the executives on both their loud and quiet attributes; their bright and dark sides. 

Future leaders need to understand the importance of humility, and the need to be self-aware in order to lead and thrive in the face of disruptive and transformational changes. 

Additionally, with digitalisation impacting across all industries, CSCOs need to understand how they can use technology to their benefit and be comfortable with digital innovation. They need to innovate and rethink business models and understand the interoperability and the business implications. 

In your opinion, is there a difference between developing leaders in APAC and the US/Europe? Why or why not? 

Development of the leaders is no longer about APAC or US/Europe, especially for CSCO. The role of a CSCO starts with viewing the world as one market, and less about the region. 

The development of leaders across the world should be based on openness to innovation and gain multi-geography and multi-cultural experiences. Inclusiveness and humility are the anchor to ensure sustainable leadership to thrive in the long run. 

In our studies, almost all global supply chain CEOs (90 per cent), have held senior management positions across two or more business areas. Furthermore, a majority of those executives have experience working abroad (65 per cent), often in two or more countries outside their home country. 

To read the full article, click here.