Entrepreneur

5 Influential CEOs Weigh in What Makes a Good Leader

Influential leaders who have taken their companies to new heights through skillful command with a dynamic, collaborative approach share their thoughts on what makes a good leader.
Source: Shutterstock

The question is eternal: What makes a good leader? Predictably, we have no definitive answer. But one thing is certain: As business technologies and processes evolve, hot industries come and go and employee demographics shift, the best leaders are those who can change with the times. They're the ones with foresight and adaptability, who don't rule from a manual but rather customize a culture that's specific to each company, its mission and the personality of its work force.

We've taken a look at the new trends in leadership, eyeing the shift in thinking that's necessary to nurture the modern labor pool--in particular, that smart, finicky, outspoken group known as the Millennials. Additionally, we checked in with some bigwigs who have taken their companies to new heights through skillful command with a dynamic, collaborative approach.

Lead on.

 

We're All In This Together

Ted Devine, CEO Insureon
"No walls, no barriers, no hierarchy": Insureon CEO Ted Devine's office aesthetic.
Photo © Bob Stefko

Inside the LaSalle Atrium Building in downtown Chicago, a short walk from Lake Michigan, Insureon CEO Ted Devine has his desk arranged in one corner of the company's open-plan office space. The CFO is adjacent. The head of marketing sits just 15 feet away, and the head of sales is nearby. There are no offices--not even cubicle dividers. In fact, from where Devine sits, he can look out on all 20 of his employees at company headquarters.

Devine came to Insureon in 2011 from Aon Risk Services, where, as president, he worked in a more traditional setting, one befitting the guy in charge of an operation with 28,000 employees and $5 billion in annual revenue. But it drove him crazy, Devine says, to sit in his resplendent office and see people lining up in the hallway outside, as if waiting to be granted an audience with the pope. So for Devine, the open floor plan he instituted at Insureon conveys a message

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