“Gut Instinct Doesn’t Matter”

By James Kwak

I’m no fan of the genre of CEO interviews published in the Sunday Times. But this past Sunday’s CEO-of-the-week column featured Marcus Ryu, a good friend and someone I’ve worked with at three different companies.

Marcus is not only very smart and someone who really knows what it’s like to build a company from the ground up, but he’s also someone who has thought very hard about what it takes to succeed as a company and what a company needs in its CEO. Unlike many CEOs, he doesn’t believe in gut instinct or the magical ability to judge character. He believes that success in business is hard and, as I’ve heard him say many times, there never is a day when suddenly everything becomes easy. If you are or want to be a CEO someday, I recommend it.

7 responses to ““Gut Instinct Doesn’t Matter”

  1. Try being the CFO of a bankrupt co. It’s my job job to get back money lost by irresponsible employee’s. I don’t expect a full day’s rest for another couple years.

  2. Moses Herzog

    Ryu may be a great person and a great CEO, and I don’t doubt that at all or I wouldn’t have perused the financial statements. But the GWRE numbers look like crap. Negative cash flow etc. It may be the market is putting a premium on the shares because in fact he is a great manager. But I wouldn’t touch the stock with a 20ft pole.

  3. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/15780-corporate-governance-and-ceo-pay-the-cesspool-at-the-top
    Corporate Governance and CEO Pay: The Cesspool at the Top
    Wednesday, 17 April 2013 00:00 By Dean Baker, Truthout | Op-Ed
    “…To impose this sort of check on CEO pay, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, together with the Huffington Post, will be starting Director Watch. Director Watch is designed to highlight the abuses of corporate directors…”
    While Director Watch will not directly prevent the sort of theft that characterizes the behavior at the top echelons of U.S. corporations, it will highlight the identity of the people responsible.
    The point of Director Watch is let everyone know that… the (corrupt & powerful)… are not decent honorable types who warrant public respect, but rather key accomplices in the corruption at
    the top of corporate America. With Director Watch, someone will be watching.
    Dean Baker
    Dean Baker is a macroeconomist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He is a regular Truthout columnist and a member of Truthout’s Board of Advisers.

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/director-watch
    (excerpt):

    Director Watch
    “They didn’t think anyone was watching”: Director Watch will highlight corporate board members who rake in big $ even when the companies they oversee go under.

    “In principle corporate directors should be looking to hold down CEO pay in the same way that CEOs look to minimize the wages of assembly line workers, clerical workers, custodians and anyone drawing a paycheck from the company. CEOs justify these efforts by the need to maximize returns to shareholders. In the same vein, directors should constantly be asking if they could get a CEO of comparable skills for less money.
    Corporate directors have badly failed in this responsibility in recent decades. As a result, the pay of CEOs and other top executives has exploded. CEO pay for Fortune 500 companies now averages over 300 times the pay of a typical worker. By comparison, in the 1970’s the average large company CEO received around 30 times the average worker’s pay.
    In an effort to put some check on these bloated salaries CEPR – in partnership with the Huffington Post – will unveil a new website called “Director Watch”. The idea is to call attention to the directors who are not doing their jobs. This is information that the public should know. Many directors are well-respected figures with successful careers in academics, politics, business or other arenas. They are not living up to their reputations when they agree to contracts that allow poor performing executives to pilfer their companies.
    Director Watch will highlight directors who get large paychecks even as the companies they ostensibly oversee are going down the tubes.”

  4. Bruce E. Woych

    Stewardship of the public trust and servant leaders:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servant_leadership
    “Robert K. Greenleaf and the modern servant leadership movement
    & History of Servant Leadership before Robert Greenleaf &
    Characteristics of being a servant leader (all @ Link & more…)
    Stewardship: CEOs, staffs and trustees have the task to hold their institution in trust for the greater good of society. Servant leadership is seen as an obligation to help and serve others. Openness and persuasion are more important than control….”

    “Servant leadership is an ancient philosophy – one that existed long before Robert Greenleaf coined the phrase in modern times. There are passages that relate to servant leadership in the Tao Te Ching, attributed to Lao-Tzu, who is believed to have lived in China sometime between 570 BCE and 490 BCE:

    The highest type of ruler is one of whose existence the people are barely aware. Next comes one whom they love and praise. Next comes one whom they fear. Next comes one whom they despise and defy. When you are lacking in faith, Others will be unfaithful to you. The Sage is self-effacing and scanty of words. When his task is accomplished and things have been completed, All the people say, ‘We ourselves have achieved it!’[6]“

  5. Bruce E. Woych

    Subject: Three Levels of Leadership: the 3P model/
    Scouller said this of the leader’s role: “The purpose of a leader is … …to ensure that all four dimensions of leadership are [being addressed].” The four dimensions being: (1) a shared, motivating group purpose or vision (2) action, progress and results (3) collective unity or team spirit (4) attention to individuals
    ====================================================
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Levels_of_Leadership_model
    Three Levels of Leadership model