ECONOMY

What makes business leaders in Greece become successful?

Clear vision and the sheer ability by leaders to inspire their staff toward implementing that vision are the most important features of people leading Greek enterprises, according to the «Features and Practices of Successful Leaders – CEOs in Greece» survey, conducted by consultancy and auditing firm KPMG. Its results will be presented in full tomorrow by Nikitas Constantellos, the firm’s director-general and head of the consultancy branch, during a one-day event titled «Jack Welch on Leadership» to be held by KPMG at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Athens. The survey paints the picture of Greek leaders and highlights the characteristics that help the most successful business chiefs in this country implement their tasks successfully. The survey polled 50 of the most prominent Greek entrepreneur CEOs or employee CEOs, and 200 first-line managers (FLMs) from all company departments. «What we wanted to find was the particular features-abilities that Greek leaders-CEOs possess and see whether there is anything special in their behavior that makes their leadership more effective,» Constantellos told Kathimerini. «In order to have a universal record of the subject, we expanded our survey to experienced first-line managers,» he added. According to the survey’s findings, both groups agree that the main advantage in the role of a leader-CEO is the ability for strategic maneuvering, as in forging alliances, discerning business opportunities in time or supporting changes and innovative activity. Also, both sides stress that the successful leader must act first, according to the policies of the corporation, setting an example for the employees. Yet the views of these two closely cooperating groups do have some very interesting differences, and on significant matters as well. According to FLMs, a leader’s care for the creation of able managers and for the timely preparation of his/her successor are the main components of successful management. CEOs, on the other hand, believe that this feature needs improvement, without considering it as a priority. The characteristic that CEOs brand common sense and which they think they display at crucial moments in their professional career, FLMs record as ingenuity, giving it an additional dimension. As for the areas in which CEOs could improve, the two groups agree on issues related to the use of technology, time management, rewarding good work, charismatic leadership and development, and courage in the face of unpleasant decisions. However, the importance each group allocates to each of these features is different: The ability to use technology, for instance, is for CEOs a considerable skill they would like to develop further, while FLMs, though recognizing it as a weakness in their leaders, do not place it among the first things they themselves should improve. For them, issues directly linked to their relationship with the leader-CEO, such as coaching and guidance, the succession of CEOs and good timing in management, are the main areas they feel in need of immediate improvement.