Scientists Studied the Daily Lives of 1,000 CEOs. Here's What the Best Ones Did

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

I adore it when I read fine articles that tell me all great CEOs get up at 5 a.m., eat two boiled eggs, swim butterfly better than breast stroke and sleep only three hours a night.

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that at least some CEOs do things their own way because, somewhere deep inside, they’re still individuals.

Still, scientists need to find common traits upon which they can get grants and sell books. 

(Yes, of course I’m kidding. They need to make speeches too.)

I was moved, therefore, by a group of scientists from deeply venerable institutions such as Harvard Business School and one of my alma maters, the London School of Economics, opining on what makes a great CEO.

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, they explained that they examined the day-to-day lives of 1,000 CEOs, in order to understand whether boiled eggs really did have that much influence.

Yes, I made up that last part. 

I’m not, however, going to make up the conclusions from this study.

“Our evidence suggests that hands-on managerial CEOs are, on average, less effective than leaders who stay more high-level,” say the scientists.

I pause for your shock, your horror and your aghast grunts of glee.

It seems that the CEOs who didn’t meddle in every detail of every decision were, on the whole, a touch more successful that those who floated in the ether, said important things at the occasional company meeting and appeared a lot on CNBC.

I fear that there is no one formula. Any more than there is no one formula for losing in the MLB playoffs. Why, look at the Washington Nationals. They find different ways every time.

I worry, though, about this research.

You see, it “used machine learning to determine which differences in CEO behavior are most important.”

Ah. Oh. 

The algorithm was, apparently, agnostic. How odd. I generally find that algorithms tend to worship the God that created them.

Still, in the end the machines concluded that, in essence, some CEOs were down-in-the-dirt meddlers, while others enjoyed “relatively more interactions with C-suite executives, personal and virtual communications and planning, and meetings with a wide variety of internal functions and external stakeholders.”

The parts of the researchers’ conclusions I enjoyed most were their description of what CEOs did all day.

Many an employee would really like to know.

Well, CEOs spend 25 percent of their days alone. On the driving range, you might imagine. Or reading self-help books.

But here’s the part that made me reach hurriedly for a very fine glass of Cabernet Sauvignon: 10 percent of their days are spent on “personal matters.”

That’s not “personnel matters.” I can only guess it’s getting their hair coiffed and buying the odd yacht or two.

The researchers seem to lean the way of leaders — rather than managers — as the more successful CEOs. They do concede, however, that some businesses need a CEO who pokes their nose into everything. 

My own conclusion, then, is that the most successful CEOs are the ones who takes a look at a company and then realize the sort of CEO this company actually needs.

And then deliver on that insight.

I should add that, in my experience, some of the most successful CEOs have been the ones who knew how to negotiate themselves a vast payoff, just before the excreta sailed inexorably toward the fan.

But it all depends how you measure success. Naturally, these researchers tended to look at painful concepts such as productivity and profitability.

Leader CEOs seem to have engendered greater rises in productivity. 

Does that mean that people preferred to work for the leader type? I suspect so. They weren’t butting into their business so often, I imagine.

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Daily Mail reportedly exploring bid to acquire Yahoo

Yahoo's billboard in San Francisco

Last week, Yahoo extended the deadline for potential bidders to submit their proposals to acquire the Silicon Valley company. Already reports have surfaced companies like Verizon and Google seeking to make a move, but today it seems that the parent company of the U.K.-based Daily Mail is in talks with private equity firms to make its own bid for Yahoo.

Things are getting interesting.

The Wall Street Journal reports that if the Daily Mail actually submits a bid, it could take one of two forms: A private equity partner would acquire Yahoo’s core web business with the Daily Mail taking over the news and media properties; or the private equity partner would acquire Yahoo’s core web business and merge the media and news properties into the Daily Mail’s online operations.

Reports indicate that there have been as many as 40 firms that have expressed an interest in what Yahoo has to offer, but how many are actually serious remains unknown. Time Inc. is perhaps one of the few known publication and media companies to be contemplating a bid, which could strike some similarities with the Daily Mail’s plans.

Yahoo has been spending its time focusing on how to sell its core internet business since December. After some shareholders flip-flopped on whether the company should spin out its Alibaba holdings into a standalone company, the remaining option was to part with Yahoo’s core business. During its Q4 2016 earnings, the firm revealed that it was implementing an “aggressive strategic plan” to simplify itself, hopefully in a move to make it more enticing to potential buyers. As a result 15 percent of its workforce was being let go, making up 9,000 employees and fewer than 1,000 contractors.

According to documents obtained by Re/code, the financial situation at Yahoo isn’t that great. It’s said that revenue at the company is dropping close to 15 percent and earnings by over 20 percent. So while there are people contemplating bids, the real test will be to see which ones don’t balk at the seemingly dire circumstances Yahoo finds itself in and remain adamant that they can use its offerings.

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computers we interact with on a daily basis?

Brian Gracely provides an overview of the basic technologies behind Public Cloud, Private Cloud and the IaaS, PaaS and SaaS delivery models.

Question by : computers we interact with on a daily basis?
I have to write this report for my BCIS class about computers we interact with on a daily basis.
Here’s what all needs to be answered.

1. Your life is engrossed with the use of technology. List the types of “ computers” that you interact with on a regular basis?

2. How can you protect your personal information and intellectual property? List three types of security threats to computers and user identity.

3. Describe how you can use “Cloud Computing” and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this growing technology.

4. List five examples of “ emerging technologies” stating the current status and the potential applications of each.

5. Research while using your imagination to discuss potential futuristic technology that is not currently available to the public?

If you can help me with any of these questions that’d be GREAT THANKS!

Best answer:

Answer by Frawgie
I will not do your homework for you.

With that being said, “Cloud Computing” is not a new technology. They just renamed remote virtualization to “Cloud Computing” so that they could better market it to the public sector.

Add your own answer in the comments!

Brian Gracely provides an overview of new considerations for IT organizations when implementing Cloud Computing solutions.
Video Rating: 5 / 5