EDITOR’S LETTER : Suits for Hire

When writer Vikki Bland started asking around about the phenomenon of job shortages for top CEOs she drew number of blanks. Quite few people agreed that our findings were indeed true and were impacting them directly. They declined to appear in our article (this month’s cover story “Diving not Skiving”) on the grounds that it may somehow negatively affect market perceptions of them. Others were confident enough in their own skin to talk with us on the record. And for that I thank them, for there is no shame in being selective about the choices we make and for taking stand on the types of roles, companies and people with which we choose to associate.
Business conversations today are peppered with talk of how one’s personal values should be aligned to the heart and soul of the organisation in which one chooses to spend not just time but other more precious commodities such as energy and passion. That’s particularly pertinent for CEOs but should be equally applicable at every other rung of the corporate ladder. So let’s celebrate people who are prepared to stand back, take long look at their options and make some hard decisions.
But let’s be mindful, too, that the bigger picture is not particularly good news for our senior executives. While the local labour market may be as tight as sailor on shore leave it’s totally different in the upper echelons of corporate management. The reasons are many and varied. We’ve outlined them in the article. The inevitable outcome is that good CEOs wanting meaningful and meaty roles in this country may sometimes face period of downtime. How they handle that can speak volumes about their strength of character, resourcefulness and adaptability.
The good news is that, logically, they should return to the workforce refreshed and with new perspective. So perhaps it’s in how we collectively view such challenges that we can learn the most. In this endeavour, success will come. It just may take little longer.
That will be true, too, for many of the winners of this year’s Deloitte/Management magazine Top 200 Awards. The judges have now made their selections and preparations are well underway for this year’s black tie dinner on November 23. To get preview of some of the finalists turn to page eight. To get an opportunity to turn up in your best suit and tie, contact my colleague Janet Chambers ([email protected]) to see if there’s still room.
Finally, thank you to everyone who got back to us with comments on our new-look Management magazine and website. We’ve reproduced some of them on page 13. See you on awards night.

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