When it comes to finding a successor for a top executive, an "inside outsider" might be the best option. As Harvard Business School Professor Joe Bower explains in his Big Think interview, an incoming CEO should have a sense of what a company is going to have to change as it looks to stay competitive the future. While insiders have probably had a sip or two of the company's Kool-Aid—and believe in the organization to the extent that it doesn't need changing—an "inside outsider" can have enough perspective to initiate radical change if needed.

Why have we seen such a dearth of leaders in today's business world? Bower thinks it stems from the fact that the financial system has drifted away from the industrial and commercial system; the leaders of financial institutions have found they can make a lot of money by building organizations simply comprised of traders.

Bower also touches upon the future prosperity of the United States, which he believes won't be impacted by China and India as much as some believe. Even though China and India are expected to have as much as 40 percent of the world's GDP by midcentury, incomes in those countries will still be one-third of those in developed nations.