Johnnie Moore

CEOs and egos

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

I was a little surprised to read this at the egonomics blog. (The blog’s a recent discovery it looks good.)

“You can’t ever suggest that any decision made by the chief executive in the past was wrong,” marketing guru Al Ries recently told us. “You can’t get to be a chief executive or a CEO without a powerful ego. And people with powerful egos will never, ever admit they made a mistake. How then can you sell a new strategy unless you can convince the company that their previous strategy was wrong? You first have to tell them that their strategy was ‘right for its time.’ But today, times have changed; therefore their strategy has to change. No CEO has ever told me that he or she has ever made a mistake.”

Assuming Al’s not been quoted wrongly or I’ve misunderstood the context, I have three responses:

1 This isn’t my experience of CEOs. I find them as multidimensional as the rest of us mortals.

2 Personally, if I were a CEO I’d be wary of taking advice from a consultant who professes a professional commitment to placating my ego.

3 I idly wonder if Al has reflected on whether there may be other explanations for his never having heard a CEO admit to a mistake.

Share Post

More Posts


There’s more potential in each moment than we realise

More Updates

Emotional debt

Releasing the hidden costs of pent up frustrations


Finding the aliveness below the surface of stuck

Johnnie Moore


On the BBC website they’ve been asking people to name their costliest mistake. I found it quite compelling, a little peak into people’s inner lives. Part of the fascination is

Johnnie Moore

Open Space and Sugar

On Thursday I facilitated a workshop for the BBC and AHRC on the theme of User Generated Content and its implications. I used Open Space and it seems as though

Johnnie Moore

The Wisdom of Crowds

Dave Pollard has posted a great summary of The Wisom of Crowds. I’d like to focus on this bit: The group’s answer he shows is almost invariably better than any

Johnnie Moore

Innovation with a capital I

I’ve been enjoying James Gardner’s blog, especially since he moved from his bank to the Department of Work and Pensions. I get the sense that with this move he’s able