Managing the Future

One of the most critical factors to consider when analyzing a company is its management. But what makes a good leader?

The question has been studied for centuries: Plato, Sun Tzu, and Machiavelli had much to say. Homer compares Achilles with Hector, and the biblical King Saul is contrasted with David.

The first thing a leader needs is passionate vision—the ability to see what hasn’t yet happened and ask, “Why not?” A business leader has to have a passion for the business and the ability to transmit that passion. Colin Powel noted that a leader gets people to follow, if only out of curiosity.

But a leader will quickly stumble if vision is not tempered by humility: recognizing that you’re not the most important person in the room. Leaders fly high when they inspire others to adopt their ideas, but they come crashing down if they begin to think that the normal rules of personal interactions don’t apply to them.

No, for a leader’s vision to be sustained, they need personal integrity. Business necessarily entails ethical dilemmas and choices. A leader has to know how to do the right thing, even when the right thing isn’t clear.

These three factors—vision, humility, and integrity—are essential to successful management. The best companies have leaders that live these out so they can go past the cash-flow statement to create value well into the next century.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By | 2017-07-17T12:35:01+00:00 September 9th, 2011|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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