The Effective Executive – Statistics Executives Should Know

Veteran, new and aspiring executives need methods to be successful in their organization. There are 1000s of leadership podcasts, videos, blogs, and articles but few authors address what to do or how to do it.

We have witnessed many executives who are efficient (doing things right), but few executives are effective (doing the right things). We believe this is misguided and aim to remedy the shortfall with executives.

This is the 35th episode of the Effective Executive podcast. In this episode, Tripp Babbitt shares some statistics executives may want to know.  Download our Effective Executive Starter Kit.
Resources mentioned in this episode:

Show Notes

The Effective Executive – Episode 35

C-Level Turnover

Executive Education – Soft Skills Aloe Will NOT Make You Effective

M & A Failures

Executive/Leadership Training is Underwhelming

What is an Executive’s Job?

Making Yourself an Effective Executive



[00:00:01] This is the 35th episode of the effective executive podcast and YouTube video, and this week I thought I’d switch things up a little bit and talk about some of the statistics behind executives, whether you’re a sea level or maybe just a vice president and an organizer, even the director of an organization, I think these all these statistics will apply to you. And I want to make some commentary on some of these statistics, too, so let me get started. And first of all, I started pulling statistics out just because I’m interested in these types of things. And hopefully you are to from the book Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath. And I think it’s a pretty good book. I’ll put a link to it so that people can potentially purchase it. But there were a few statistics that statistics in there that that caught my eye that I will share in this video. And there’s also some other articles that I pulled some data out of that I think are significant. And I’ll probably do these on occasion because and I think they’re they’re interesting also, as you kind of how your organization or and even yourself matches up against what other organizations are doing or other executives, what’s happening to them.


[00:01:31] So one of the first statistics kind of got me on this whole thing was the turnover of C-level executives and it has fluctuated between 12 percent and 18 percent. So if you can think through this a little bit, a C-level executive, one in six to eight roughly executives, there’s turnover in those particular C-level types of positions.And I don’t know whether you think that’s high or low. I’m not really going to make that commentary just as it is.


[00:02:13] And one of the statistic goes along with that, and this comes out of the book, Decisive May Affect the next three come from book decisive as 40 percent of executives are pushed out, they fail or quit within 18 months. Now, that, to me, is kind of a staggering statistic that you get somebody new into an executive position. And obviously a lot of the executive training that I am involved with has to do with teaching you method. How do you actually create value for your organization as opposed to some of the leadership things that are taught in organizations? They’re going to teach you about empathy and communication, those types of things. Now combine those to these kind of leadership soft skills with real concrete, hard skills that I think you’ve got a complete executive. It’s just that it’s not my area in the soft skills. And but that seems to be the focus of 95 percent of the training that you see out there on leadership and that I see in organizations where corporate training areas will teach executives about those types of skills. So to have communication, empathy and, you know, kind of those types of things, but. You know, every system has to figure out how to bring in an executive, you know, a lot of organizations, their home grown, someone who maybe started in the company, moved through the organization, and some of them are they bring people from without the organization, from another organization, maybe a competitor and bring them in.


[00:04:04] And my personal view is, you know, it’s better if someone knows about your at least your industry or your particular organization, but that’s not necessarily always true. And I see executives be successful or complete failures depending on which path that they took. And so a lot of what I’m focused in on is how do I help that executive be successful and create value for the organization? Because if you’re just doing empathy and, you know, hope a great communicator, he runs a great meeting or she runs a great meeting. But your organization isn’t working on the right things, then it doesn’t really matter. And so it’s a lot of my training is associated with trying to get people to work on the right things. And then there comes from the effective executive right. Operational definition. If you’re not familiar with it, go to my YouTube channel and look at my playlist, which is basically says, start here and I’ll tell you the difference between an efficient and effective executive. Now, also, another statistic out of this is that 83 out of the decisive 83 percent of merger and acquisition activities fail to create value for shareholder.


[00:05:26] And then have I witnessed this throughout my life? Everybody does these things for economies of scale or what a good partnership it’s going to be. I mean, it’s hilarious to me. What I usually see happening is organizations that try to achieve organic growth through mergers and acquisitions. And to me, they don’t that’s not even a Venn diagram where the two pieces touch. They typically do not create value for either of the organizations they and I’ve been a part of or been in situations many, many times now where one organization buys another. And how do we, you know, assimilate this organization or do we assimilate? And there are those types of questions. Most people are looking for economies of scale, meaning, you know, oh, well, you’ve got a call center. I got a call center. We’ll just have one call center and we’ll get rid of one hundred people. I don’t know what the number, but typically it’s the mindset as well, the financial economy of scale that you get from merging. Two organizations never find that to really bear fruit, that two different organizations use their same industry and they were competitors. They serve different clients. And all of a sudden, this system, this system that bought something or this this organization, they try and fit this this one that they bought into their system. And their clients don’t like it because they were treated differently. That was a different system. So I agree with 83 percent.


[00:07:11] I have to be honest with you. I think that’s low. I’ve never seen a merger that or an acquisition that went really well. Now, I’ve heard rumors about I’ve you know, you go to cocktail parties or something and somebody say, oh, we bought so-and-so company. What a great you know, of course they have to say that. Right. Another statistic from decisive 60 percent of executives reported bad decisions were as frequent as good decisions. So, you know, and I don’t know how that was measured or anything about that particular statistic. That seems to be the randomness of not having an ability or a process that you go through in making decisions, no decision should ultimately be bad in my mindset, which is if you’re setting up a system and your mindset is that you’re going to it’s it’s a failure from the beginning because there’s so many things you don’t know until after you make the decision, you start trying it out. And this is why I usually have organizations try things out on a small scale, because the you know, just making a decision and moving on from it makes zero sense to me. You’re going to learn you’re going to make better decisions as you get more information and you almost want to treat it like an experiment so that you follow up on it. What’s the data telling us how our customers are reacting, you know, those types of things, and in order to get those types of data, don’t usually have some of those things available at your fingertips until much later.


[00:08:45] So you go with what you think might be good for an organization based on the data that you have. And then you learn and then that decision becomes better and better over time. But this mindset of bad versus good decision, I just it doesn’t fit my neither my method or my mindset of that. Things are that black and white that there are there’s a scale of making a decision that you make better over a particular time. So another thing, executives, I’ll just throw this is kind of a random one, this is from a different website, but 62 and a half hours is the average hours worked by an executive every week. So 40 hour work weeks. Executives are putting in a lot more time. And whether I’m consulting with executives were when I was an executive, I find that to be very true. You’re constantly you know, it’s it’s obsessive that you’re constantly trying to think of ways to make your organization better. Otherwise, you’re probably not in a position to be an executive. 19 percent of organizations say they are very effective at developing executives. Oh, my God. And this is one of the reasons why I started the ninety five method is if one in five organizations say that they’re not very good, are good at effectively training or developing their executives, that’s just mind boggling to me.


[00:10:18] I do think that you have to have training education from without the organization. So from that that change in new perspectives is a lot of what executives need. So I’m just one person, but it seems like most organizations are going after the you know, the 95 percent of the training that’s out there. Education programs are, like I said, the soft skill type of things. And I don’t think that that completes the system of what you need, an education program that you have to have methods or be taught methods in order to improve an organization. Now, here’s another interesting statistic, 10000 boomers, baby boomers retire every day. That means we’ve got a whole new class of leadership that’s coming in and filling some of these sea level and executive excuse me, executive positions. And, you know, more money is spent on leadership training than any other thing in an organization. And yet and like I said, 95 percent of it is all about, you know, empathy and communication and things of that sort that are part of the picture. But it’s not the whole picture. You need method. And in order to have a well-rounded education program, 71 percent of organizations don’t feel executives can lead them into the future. I mean, that’s that’s scary, too. And a lot of my methods, whether it’s developing new perspectives to synthetic synthetic thinking, how does your organization think? How do you look at your organization through a customer lens, you know, using and identifying and using the right data within your organization, what I call executive data analytics, innovation, organizational design.


[00:12:24] You know, all of the elements of the 95 method and in essence will help you not only lead into the future, but it will help you develop these this different set of skills that I think are completely missed as part of what people references leadership training. 83 percent of organizations say it is important to develop executives, but only five percent do it. And again, I’ll put a link in to some of the statistics out there and take a look at them yourself. But, you know, if it’s important and only five percent are doing that, it’s one in 20. That makes really zero sense to me. How are you going about and developing your executives and why is it ineffective? I can usually see why, because it seems to be very again, very one sided and soft skills as opposed to actually method that helps make an organ or help make an organization grow organically and come up with new thinking and new ideas. And I think that’s a constant battle. Executives don’t have time. I’ve got to go do operational things. I got to do a spreadsheet or I got to do this. I got to do that. But that’s not some of the things that really make you effective. It’s looking to the future and being able to say, all right, we need to innovate.


[00:13:51] We need to be proactive in that. We need to take a look at some of the numbers we have. Are we looking at the right things? And instead, a lot of executives spend way too much time micromanaging people below them. You know, you need to do it this way. You need to do it that way. And you know that that that doesn’t lead the organization into the future, no matter what industry you’re in. And I’ve worked with many, many different industries. Another statistic, only 18 percent of organizations say executives are very effective at meeting business goals. Oh, my. Well, there’s something, you know, I think going after an aim as opposed to a particular goal makes more sense because this gets into the mindset of, you know, I don’t start with a good or bad decision. I start with a decision and make it better over a particular time. I I’m not against goals, but the question becomes by what method will you achieve those goals? And, you know, this is where things start to fall apart, where I believe executives need to be educated and understanding methods to achieve those business goals. So anyway, those were a few statistics. I’ll probably do this from time to time, maybe once a quarter or so, find interesting statistics that are out there. But I think they’re they’re pretty representative of what I see out there and some of the reasons for some very you know, whether it’s, you know, 40 percent of executive pushed out fail or quit within 18 months or whatever, the combination of things, you know, the hiring process, you know, I I get involved.


[00:15:42] I’ve gotten involved with that. That’s not really my primary focus. My guess more once you got them in there, how do I help them create value for your organization once they’ve been hired? Now, some of that bleeds back into. You know kind of what their mindset is, because some you know, you get different types of executives just like anything else. Some are very I know I don’t need any help. I’m I’m an executive or you know, what I what I say goes and you know those types of things, too. Yeah. I’m open to learning. And how do I educate myself in order to be more effective in the position and create value for the organization. And I think that those mindsets are very different. But you get a broad range of of them and there are things that executives know that I will never know because they have really expert knowledge and a particular product or service. And I don’t try to dismiss that. And then there are but there are still methods that will help enable you as an executive to help you meet whatever business goals that you have or achieve the aim of the organization, therefore creating value for your organization.

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