• It has become something of a taboo in our society to say you don’t want to be a leader — especially if you are one. Richard Hytner, a former CEO at the global advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi, experienced it firsthand and is trying to break that stigma.

    - Lillian Cunningham, Editor, On Leadership, The Washington Post
  • Hytner notes that talent development, for example, is crucial to companies now, so the lack of a great track record for hiring, inspiring, and keeping star employees sometimes trips up aspiring CEOs.

    - Anne Fisher, Fortune Magazine
  • He argues convincingly that a great team of a chief executive and a number two is a more successful proposition than a solitary leader. Mr Hytner describes the various types of consiglieri – lodestones, educators, anchors and deliverers, according to his segmentation.

    - Luke Johnson, Financial Times
  • Richard Hytner, deputy chairman of London-based advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi, thinks corporate understudies are too often overlooked. He’s set out to burnish the reputation of the second-in-command…

    - Adam Auriemma, the Wall Street Journal
  • It’s a trove of advice about how to be a great deputy and principal adviser, a calling that has brought out the best in people as varied and admirable as Warren Buffett’s Charlie Munger, Anna Wintour’s Grace Coddington, Abraham Lincoln’s William Seward, and Henry VIII’s Thomas Cromwell.

    - Frederick E. Allen, Forbes

Media Article

Double-Down or Draw-Down on Dynasty?

Double-Down or Draw-Down on Dynasty?

Is it better for a leader to eschew or embrace one’s predecessor? When does it make sense to bring a former leader back in from the cold? Last week, UK Labour leader Ed Miliband took a calculated risk, inviting three-term Prime Minister Tony Blair to take the podium on his behalf to dispense some sagely polished musings about the state of Europe. Similarly, Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, was until recently written off as a political liability after a disappointing single term in office. Brown was able to rehabilitate his reputation, however, through his tireless efforts to help squash the Scottish referendum, and now finds his oratory once more in huge demand—this time to help Labour boost its disastrous polling in Scotland.

“Blair and Brown offer two recent examples of when it can make sense to bring the leader back in from the cold,” writes Richard Hytner in a Huffington Post article titled “Leaders Who Put Their Predecessors on the Podium Should Proceed with Caution.” The author of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows and Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the London Business School is careful to qualify these wary political embraces: “In both cases, the interventions were discreet by design, a swift in and out, before too much lingering resentment could resurface.”

Dynastic dilemmas holds more currency than ever this year, as America girds up for a Presidential contest that is likely to find in its Democratic candidate a former First Lady and Secretary of State vs. a Republican scion who counts both a brother and a father as ex-Presidents. In his Huffington Post column, Hytner suggests some strict parameters for wheeling out former leaders for political gain, including to explicitly define the returnee’s role, issue, and duration of stay in the limelight.

Read the full article here.

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