There’s nothing like serving as a public company director for getting an inside view of corporate leadership. That’s why many governance experts think it’s an excellent way for C-suite executives to keep their management skills honed. Yet the number of sitting CEOs who sit on outside boards keeps shrinking.
The New Year promises to be a year of “stakeholder overload” for corporate leadership. The growing number of constituents weighing in on company operations—going far beyond activist investors and shareholders to include many more regulators, local governments, NGOs and a host of special interest groups—is placing greater demand on leaders and on the corporate brand itself.
It’s never been a more difficult time to be a CEO,” says Stephen Miles, founder and chief executive of The Miles Group, which advises top CEOs and boards globally. “With 2013 around the corner, corporate leaders are facing some of the most challenging times of their careers. Companies’ unprecedented exposure on the regulatory and reputational fronts requires that CEOs get in and manage a lot of this themselves, in addition to providing inspiring leadership in the face of so much uncertainty.”