Business Case Studies, Executive Interviews, James O Toole on The Making of a CEO

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Interview with James O Toole on The Making of a CEO

January 2009 - By Dr. Nagendra V Chowdary

Many boards pick CEOs who promise to use financial wizardry to boost the bottom line, as opposed to leaders who can build sustainable enterprises. Instead, boards should seek to appoint CEOs who are dedicated to creating sustainable and ethical corporate cultures. Alas, few see that as their role.
—Dr. James O Toole
Effective executive interview with Dr. James O'Toole on The Making of a CEO

James O Toole is the Daniels Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Denvers Daniels College of Business. Previously, at the University of Southern California's business school, he held the University Associates' Chair of Management, served as Executive Director of the Leadership Institute, and editor of New Management magazine. O'Toole's research and writings have been in the areas of leadership, philosophy, ethics, and corporate culture. He has addressed dozens of major corporations and professional groups, and has over one hundred published articles. Among his sixteen books,

Vanguard Management was named "One of the best business and economics books of 1985" by the editors of BusinessWeek. His latest books are Creating the Good Life: Applying Aristotle's Wisdom to Find Meaning and Happiness (2005), The New American Workplace (with Edward Lawler, 2006), and Transparency (with Warren Bennis and Daniel Goleman, 2008). O'Toole received his Doctorate in Social Anthropology from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He served as a Special Assistant to Secretary

of Health, Education and Welfare, Elliot Richardson, as Chairman of the Secretary's Task Force on Work in America, and as Director of Field Investigations for President Nixon's Commission on Campus Unrest. He won Mitchell Prize for a paper on economic growth policy, has served on the Board of Editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and was editor of The American Oxonian magazine. From 1994-97 O'Toole was Executive Vice President of the Aspen Institute, and later, Mortimer J Adler Senior Fellow at the Institute. He also has served as Chair of the Booz/Allen/Hamilton Strategic Leadership Center. In 2007 he was named one of the "100 most influential people in business ethics" by the editors of Ethisphere, and one of "the top 100 thought leaders on leadership" by Leadership Excellence magazine.

Useful for Understanding of:

  • Role of a board in selecting the right leader
  • Causes for CEO Dismissal
  • Characteristics of the board that successfully replaces CEOs
Originally Published in Effective Executive, IUP
Effective Executive Reference No. 03M-2009-01-09-06
IBSCDC Reference No. INT0082
Year and Month of Publication January 2009
Keywords Dr James O'Toole, Role of a board in selecting the right leader, Causes for CEO Dismissal, Characteristics of the board that successfully replaces CEOs

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