New Managers Are Adventurous and Challenge Authority
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June 21, 2018
LeadershipBoard and CEO AdvisoryExecutive Search
The Expansion article, “New Managers Are Adventurous and Challenge Authority," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Ramón Gómez de Olea and featured the firm's research, "Beyond the Corner Office: Leadership in a Multi-Company Ecosystem." An excerpt of the article, translated from the original Spanish, is below.


Many large Spanish companies demand professionals who are willing to challenge the 'status quo'. 

One of the better diagnosed effects of digital transformation is the change in the organization of companies, which are gradually abandoning the vertical hierarchical schemes (where the top always orders, and the bottom always obeys) for more participatory models. This inevitably affects the profile of young business leaders, with a value scheme that is quite different from that of previous generations. A recent study by the consultancy firm Russell Reynolds states that the main characteristics of current CEOs are curiosity, the challenging of authority and traditional values, assertiveness, adventurous initiative, and intense professional activity. At the other extreme, traits that are not as present are tradition, harmony, a tendency to worry, and an aggressive temperament. 

The report, which was carried out together with professor Andrew Shipilov of the Insead business school (with headquarters in Fontainebleau, France), was developed from in-depth interviews with twelve top executives from various sectors. Their answers were analyzed by an artificial intelligence system, which identified 60 traits of the interviewees and compared them with a broader population of managers. According to the study, the business environment of these new leaders (many of them of a digital nature) has a great influence on the way they act, where values such as agility, a fail-safe mentality, and great self-confidence prevail. 

According to Ramón Gómez de Olea, country manager of Russell Reynolds Spain, "in our daily lives in the company, we already clearly observe the evolution of the traits that are sought among the new leaders of big companies in Spain. A very high percentage of our projects demand curious, disruptive professionals willing to challenge the status quo, all of which are qualities that are necessary to boost the ability of these large companies to interact with start-ups and scale-ups, thus having access to new knowledge, experiences, and resources. Ten years ago, this situation would have been unthinkable, and I believe that this change benefits all sectors." 

The entire article in its original Spanish can be found here.