The Leadership Difference

A board can be a destroyer or a creator of value—a difference starkly evident in the two cases that follow. The names and incidents are well known, but the outcomes could not have been more dissimilar. Here we see the difference that a board’s leadership can make for recovery of a damaged company, or the absence of a board’s leadership can make for destruction of a faltering company.

In one case, a board failed in its basic obligations of company leadership, and its irresponsibility contributed to a financial calamity. It was as if the board had embraced Will Rogers’s famous dictum, “If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” In the other case, directors took a company shocked to its core ...

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