Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Shell chief hits out at executive egomaniaOn 27 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today In the wake of corporate scandal and senior resignations at Shell UK, itschairman, Clive Mather, has admitted that leaders need more humility and thatgood role models are hard to find. “One of the dangers of seniority is that it reinforces your ego andreduces humility, I’ve had a tough day and I feel extremely humble,” CliveMather, chairman of Shell UK told HR professionals after the City was rocked byone of the biggest corporate scandals in 20 years. Mather’s ‘tough day’ stemmed from shock confessions by senior Shellexecutives that they had repeatedly lied to Shell investors about the truelevel of the energy giant’s oil and gas reserves – and then covered up thedeceit. The world’s third biggest oil business joins a string of corporate scandals,such as WorldCom and Enron, and raises questions about integrity levels amongtoday’s business leaders. Mather, who is also head of learning at Shell International, was speaking ata Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development debate on whether investmenton training within organisations gave real returns. He warned that good rolemodels among business leaders to showcase the training and development of staffwere now difficult to find. “There are too many leaders portrayed in the media as insular andegocentric,” he said. “That’s not leadership. Leadership isexercising [business goals and success] through others, not through oneself. “And at the heart of good leadership is humility. Not many leaders oforganisations understand that concept,” he added But Andrew Kakabadse, professor of international management at CranfieldUniversity, denied business leaders were suffering from a lack of integrity. Hesaid they were increasingly pressurised by ever-spiralling demands from equitymarkets for higher shareholder value, leading to scandals like the one atShell. “Shareholder value is beginning to see the end of the day,” saidKakabadse. Roger Gill, director of research at the Leadership Trust, agreed. “Top management are under almost unbearable pressure to meet escalatingshareholder demand, plus demands from others including the Government,”said Gill. He added that the pressure was “denting moral courage and theresilience to stick with what we believe in”. By Penny Wilson Comments are closed.