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Tag: CEO leadership

CEO Leadership on the Governance Front:  Reflections on an Emerging New Model

March 24, 2022 0 Comments

This is how the chief executive officer of a large, urban public transit system responded to my question about engaging his board in the annual budget preparation process in a one-on interview kicking off a board development project a decade ago.

“What’s the process for engaging my board members in shaping the annual budget document before taking action on it?  I’m not sure what you mean by that question.  As CEO, I’m accountable for getting a complete, carefully prepared budget to the board at least six weeks before the end of the fiscal year. My board’s accountable for doing a Read the rest

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Crises Demand Energizers-in-Chief at All Levels

March 31, 2020 0 Comments

“The fog of despair hung over the land.  One out of every four American workers lacked a job.  Factories that had once darkened the skies with smoke stood ghostly and silent, like extinct volcanoes.  In October the New York City Health Department had reported that over one-fifth of the pupils in public schools were suffering from malnutrition. . . .Hunger marchers, pinched and bitter, were parading cold streets in New York and Chicago. . . .”  This is Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s description of America in 1933, in his magisterial The Crisis of the Old Order:  a nation in … Read the rest

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Thoughts on True Humility and Senator John McCain

September 17, 2018 0 Comments

The following article originally appeared at www.extraordinaryceo.com.

Thinking about Senator John McCain this morning – along with millions of my fellow Americans and admirers around the world – reminded me of the critical role that character plays in leadership. Whether one agreed with Senator McCain on one issue or another, I’m sure the overwhelming majority of Americans considered the Senator from Arizona a man of sterling character. One aspect of the late Senator’s character that he shared with other illustrious leaders, including Abraham Lincoln, is what I call “true humility” in my book on leading change, Changing By DesignRead the rest

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COTA’s CEO Curtis Stitt Reflects on Chief Executive Leadership

August 25, 2017 0 Comments

Not long into my first in-depth conversation with Curtis Stitt, I realized that I was in the company of an uncommonly thoughtful CEO who was a deeply serious, passionate student of board and chief executive leadership.  And I knew that I’d lucked out in having the opportunity to work closely with Curtis on the governance front before his upcoming retirement as President & CEO of the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), which serves over 1.2 million residents in the Greater Columbus, Ohio region.   Having closely observed       Curtis in action over the past few months, I was delighted when he agreed … Read the rest

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Two Extraordinary CEOs Still Traveling the Continuous Leadership Improvement Road

March 23, 2016 0 Comments

Over the quarter-century I’ve been working with public and nonprofit chief executive officers, I’ve noticed that the ones who are really extraordinary leaders – whose leadership makes a tremendous positive difference over the long run – never rest on their laurels.  Traveling the executive self-improvement road helped them reach the top of their profession, but once they’ve taken the helm, they remain just as dedicated to sharpening their leadership skills.  This makes practical good sense since circumstances – and hence leadership challenges – are constantly changing, and their growing self-awareness helps them surface new opportunities for professional growth.

Certainly the … Read the rest

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Greenlight Pinellas: A Pothole on the Road to Ultimate Success

October 16, 2015 2 Comments

Residents of Pinellas County, Florida who, like me, are strong supporters of expanding public transportation options in this increasingly gridlocked metropolitan area were sorely disappointed in November 2014. Voters overwhelmingly defeated a ballot measure to fund – with a new 1 percent sales tax – a comprehensive transportation plan developed by Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) known as “Greenlight Pinellas.” Defeat of transportation tax issues has been quite common in Florida for years, but the magnitude of the Greenlight defeat was startling in light of the meticulously crafted plan and widespread support for the ballot issue from civic, business, and … Read the rest

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Michael Melaniphy on 21st Century Leadership Challenges

April 16, 2015 0 Comments

melaniphy-headshot.jpgI was extremely pleased when APTA’s CEO Michael Melaniphy, who is a member of this blog’s CEO Advisory Committee, offered to spend around 30 minutes recording his thoughts for this fascinating podcast on the leadership challenges facing public transportation CEOs.  Of course, Michael is keenly aware that meeting these challenges – whether they relate to technological advances, new legislation, a community’s evolving needs, an altered political landscape, or other factors in this rapidly changing world – will more often than not require that the CEO to work in close partnership with her transportation board.  Engaging the board in a productive … Read the rest

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BJCTA Takes a Big Step Toward a Solid Board-CEO Partnership

January 23, 2015 0 Comments
BJCTA Takes a Big Step Toward a Solid Board-CEO Partnership

Ann August, Executive Director (CEO) of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA), and several of her top lieutenants were pretty apprehensive about the daylong “High-Impact Governing Work Session” that was scheduled for January 9-10.  The BJCTA Board, Ann, and Executive Staff members would be brainstorming practical ways to clarify and strengthen the Board’s governing role and functions and to build and maintain a solid Board-Executive Director-Executive Staff working relationship.  Ann and her senior executives had good reason to feel apprehensive.  As BJCTA’s new Board Chair, Dr. Patrick Sellers, and Ann explain in a podcast that will be published at this … Read the rest

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Learn From a Dynamic Board Chair-CEO Duo

September 9, 2014 0 Comments

In my newest book, The Board-Savvy CEO, I treat the board chair-CEO working relationship as one of the preeminent keys to keeping the board-CEO partnership healthy.  CDTA’s Board Chair, David Stackrow (who was named APTA’s Board Member of the Year in 2009), and CEO, Carm Basile, make up one of the highest-impact, most solid board chair-CEO leadership teams I’ve observed over my 25 years of work with nonprofit and public boards.  Their leadership success has a lot to do with their mutual respect, creative and flexible division of labor, and frequent communication.  It also helps that Dave is 100 … Read the rest

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