CEO Fail: 6 CEOs Who Can Wreak Havoc

My long-standing CEO fail series on this blog has described many kinds of flawed CEOs – from this week’s “Playboy King” to the “Budget Tyrant” to the “Super VP,” who cannot stop doing his executives’ jobs long enough to focus on the CEO role. has created its own set of “toxic CEOs” in this infographic, along with some real-world examples of each. Also check out their stats, which cover everything from CEO tenure to the mother-in-law correlation (!?).


CEO Fail: The Attila the Hun CEO

This next entry in my CEO failure modes series may make for compelling drama in the entertainment industry, but in the real world any CEO who exhibits dictatorial behavior is prone to mediocrity and failure.

Three ways to spot a bad CEO

What is The Most Dangerous Secret of Corporate America? Writing for, Paul Mampilly puts it bluntly: Many CEOs aren’t good at their jobs. And some of them are morons. Based on his 20-plus years of experience as a portfolio manager and stock analyst, Paul says that: Great CEOs are no more common than great baseball players. Think about […]

Make room for A players: Stars don’t always turn up on your schedule

Judging talent and putting it to best use for both employee and organizational growth is one of a CEO’s most important responsibilities. One of my favorite stories about recognizing and employing a person’s unique talents (or not) comes from the 1984 Olympic basketball trials. The coach of the team was the legendary Bobby Knight, arguably […]

CEO Failure Modes: Balancing Total Responsibility with Limited Control

People react in different ways to the burden of responsibility the CEO role entails. In my last two CEO failure mode posts, I painted two extremes between the Total Control CEO who tries to control everything, and the Master Strategist who gives up all control after communicating a grand strategy. The question is: How do […]