Among today’s most prized leadership qualities: Playing nicely

Viewed in The Wall Street Journal

The rise to the top of a corporation, as nearly any corporate executive can attest, is hugely competitive.

The reality is that, when it comes to securing CEO roles, there are vastly greater numbers of aspirants than there are openings. Logic dictates that this competitiveness might lead some aspirants to seek to sabotage their competitors as each vies to reach the top.

But executives seeking an organization’s top job should be careful to avoid such tactics, Wall Street Journal reporter Joann S. Lublin writes.

Lublin cites the growing recognition by boards of directors and executive search firms that “playing nicely” is an increasingly valued leadership trait in the corporate world.

As tempting as it might be to disparage competitors, such tactics are increasingly frowned upon by those charged with selecting CEOs. “Getting along with your peers counts for a lot when you vie for the same plum promotion,” she writes.

Lublin cites the case of Accenture CEO Julie Sweet, who she reports was quick to praise her competitors in her rise to the top; it ended up being a factor in her selection.

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