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Chief executives told to be visible to workforce

19 May 2009

Chief executives have been urged to engage with their workforce directly rather than hide behind their public relations specialists.

Mike Firth, chief executive of Yorkshire International Business Convention, stated that in countries such as the US, business leaders are trained to be frontmen from the very beginning.

However, he said that in the UK, a culture has arisen in which many chief executives speak through others to address their employees.

Speaking to the Times, Mr Firth stated that he prefers the American approach, as it makes a positive difference to a business.

"When that British Midlands crash happened, Sir Michael Bishop was straight on the scene before his public relations people," he commented.

"He was there, proving he cared [and] did a great job."

Mr Firth added that it is necessary for chief executives to stand up in front of people, engage, communicate and get them on their side.

This comes after the Management Consultancies Association stated that firms struggling with the current economic downturn could benefit from appointing a strong and inspirational leader.

The Financial Times recently suggested that firms in this position recruit an interim manager, as they could have an energising effect on flagging businesses.

Categories: Board & CEO


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