Visible intellect impresses the hiring committee – By R.SureshASPAC, In the Media Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
Despite the premium attached to execution excellence and operational effectiveness in any type of business unit, there is always a question as to who the brain behind the unit is.
Who is responsible for crafting the strategy, making the investment and scaling up from the initial base?
Sometimes it may truly be a committee developing the strategy and rationale for scaling up decisions – in which case, the key question is whether the CEO aspirant is an active member of that committee.
When evaluating candidates for a CEO role, aspirants are tested for their intellect to take on high impact commercial decisions, involving capital expenditure.
The reason why companies look for a superior academic background and track-record of independent decision-making is precisely because they want their CEO to have the intellect and conviction to view the environment differently and commit resources today for a scenario which will emerge in the future.
Intellect here means the search for relevant facts (read signals) and interpretation, rather than elaborate analysis. Often a question is asked in an evaluation round, to enumerate major decisions taken by the aspirant that impacted the company.
Hence for qualifying to be a CEO, the intellectual bandwidth and thinking power of the candidate is a key factor. Companies do not want someone who is a mere executor of someone else’s decisions.