The Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference


Dominic Barton
Dominic Barton
Global Managing Director
McKinsey & Company
Dominic Barton

Excerpts from speech delivered to the Conference:

Many leaders get focused on (either) a microscope or a telescope. They donít do both. And if youíre just focused on the long term, not thinking about the short term, you could find yourself disappearing. If youíre just focused on the short term, which I think too many CEOs are, because of quarterly earnings and so forth, youíre going to miss the big shifts that are going on. So, how do you actually make sure you have time in a given month where youíre focused on short term and long term?...

Iím a big proponent of the tri-sector leader. These are leaders who know how the private sector, the public sector and the social sector work. Itís my view that you will not be a successful private sector leader, a CEO, unless you know how the public and social sectors work. And itís not by reading books. Itís actually doing what youíre doing here. I think this whole program is incredible in terms of getting people from different groups to think and understand how people move....

The danger is that we get narrower and narrower as we move ahead. So, how do you keep that breadth? So again, tri-sector athletes are vitally important. Itís an initiative that we are going to be driving in McKinsey in our own small way, as we really are a leadership factory. What I worry about, is ten years from now, if we use the same model weíre using today, we wonít have anywhere near the number of leaders from McKinsey because they wonít be competent in understanding how government works and how the social sector works. So, weíre trying to build that into the system in what weíre doing....

The world is changing very quickly, in ways that we canít anticipate. At the end of the day, youíre left with your character to make the calls you do as leaders. There are big implications for what is going to have to change in leadership.


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