When it comes to hiring executives, the multitude of existing leadership theories have confused and distracted us from focusing on key selection criteria. As a result, we now have many very bad executives mixed with some good ones. To understand the magnitude of the problem, we need to gauge how good the current managerial population is at the critical skills that comprise Executive Intelligence. Unfortunately, the answer to that question, according to recent research on this topic, is disheartening.

In 2002, Warren Buffett remarked on the dearth of skilled executives when he explained why he decided Jim Kilts should be the next CEO of Gillette after only one meeting. “If you listen to Jim ...

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