Sunday, January 29, 2012

Leadership – The Ossi Gruebel Approach

Back then, when Ossi was the CEO of Credit Suisse Private Banking we (Relationship and Portfolio Management Units Zurich) were invited for a presentation held by Ossi Gruebel himself.

In the essence the wording of Ossi's speech was the following:
  1. “Markets went down continuously and there is no sign that there will be a strong recovery in the nearer future. Our clients lost money. Because of the weaker markets assets under management decreased and as a result Credit Suisse income of fees declined”
  2. “We need to ensure that our clients can make money also during this volatile market period. We will launch the following product in order to achieve this. As a result we will meet with the targeted cost income ratio.”
  3. “Please identify the clients who could be interested, contact them, and if interested offer them this product”
  4. “If you are not able to achieve the mentioned goal we have to take some actions on the cost side and you might need to plan your future a bid differently”

The majority of the audience was a bid shocked about Ossi Gruebel's statements, which is understandable. For myself I liked these straight forward and maybe even a bid brutal statements. Why?

  1. Ossi Gruebel showed a clear picture about the current situation and problems
  2. He proposed a solution. That means he gave his subordinates a chance to react. He did not present us with a fait accompli
  3. He made crystal clear what we were to do
  4. He pointed out what the consequences would be if we were not to proceed according to his proposal

I found Ossi's aproach and the clear message by far fairer than other leadership approaches I have been experiencing during my career. Of course this example taught me as well, that such a messages should be transmitted in a bid a smother way in order get optimal results.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quotes and Advices from Top Leaders given during WEF Open Forum 26th January 2012

Responsible Leadership in Times of Crisis

In an era of rapid change and complex crises, leaders need to be able to make bold decisions quickly. Yet they often struggle to take the action needed to tackle economic, political and social issues, allowing their judgement to be clouded by short-term policies aimed at winning elections. 

The following speakers participated:
Ehud Barak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Israel
Jean-Claude Biver, Chairman of the Board, Hublot, Switzerland
Gordon Brown, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
Martin Burt, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Fundacion Paraguaya 

Brice Koch, Member of the Group Executive Committee, Executive Vice-President, ABB, Switzerland
Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank (2003-2011)

Quotes and Advices from Speakers above

Brown: Women leadership will be very important for needed changes within coming 15 years 

Barak: A leader needs to have deep intuition 

Biver: A leader who doesn't listen is a very dangerous leader

Biver: If you don't know what to do for too long your not a leader

Barak: No shortage of leaders with bad character in the past 

Barak: Leadership is more about character than about IQ

Barak: Leader is someone who can convince people

Burt: Find your element, thats where your passion is crossing with what you are good at

Koch: Good leader needs to be fast

Koch: Be transparent, be yourself, be a person that can be trusted 

Biver: Qualities for leadership needed, same for business leaders and politicians

Biver: In business to be a leader is easier, in politics its much harder 

Biver: Fully agrees with Brown, leader needs vision, then needs courage

Brown: Huge pressure on politicians to act short term, but long term view/action is needed

Brown: Leadership requires courage, thats what matters most

Trichet: Leadership, sense of direction is needed