Jean-Pierre Rosso
Chairman, World Economic Forum USA

Jean-Pierre Rosso on Leadership

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A broad definition of integrity.

Jean-Pierre Rosso

Mr. Rosso has been Chairman of World Economic Forum USA Inc. since April 2006. Mr. Rosso served as Chairman of CNH Global N.V. from November 1999 until his retirement in May 2004; was Chief Executive Officer of CNH Global N.V. from November 1999 to November 2000; and Chief Executive Officer of Case Corporation from April 1994 to November 1999 and Chairman from March 1996 to November 1996. He is also a director of ADC Telecommunications, Inc., Bombardier Inc., and Eurazeo.


Question: What are the new demands on global leaders?

Jean-Pierre Rosso: Well I think you have to look at yourself as a global citizen, you certainly have it is more demanding that it used to be, you have to be much more knowledgeable and aware of the various parts of the world, what the issues are from a political point of view, from the social point of view, from an economic point of view, so the CEO of a global corporation today needs to be much more aware and much more knowledgeable than a CEO 20 or 30 years ago, so that requires a sort of an open mind on the global bases. And the willingness to understand that the world is different in other places than you own and may be for good reasons.

Question: Does leadership differ across industries?

Jean-Pierre Rosso: I believe, they probably are the same, fundamentally, they probably are the same because in the end, it is leadership of people which remains number 1 thing and most important, and all those organizations have a lot of people, so older leaders have to motivate lead this people towards achieving whatever objectives they have set and that remains the number 1 task of the leader, so then if you of course you are going further down, they  probably differ in terms of type of results, that are expected in your business as probably harder more specific or tangible or results to achieve not more important from the society point of view but more better defined as per this way, so but so that if you go to second level, then you see some differences but at the top level in terms of leadership trades, I would think that you will want to see the same qualities in the leaders of all those institutions.

Question: How do you define a successful leader?

Jean-Pierre Rosso: Well, I always use to say that the most important thing is integrity, I am not just speaking about honesty now, I am talking about integrity in the larger sense of the world, so that the person is objective, open, consistent and rational and puts integrity in everything he or she does so respect he is established here, so when you [inaudible] you may agree or disagree with what he or she is doing but you know that the leader has considered everything as way the various alternatives and made a decision in it is best possible judgment again with a greatest integrity in doing so, when you have that you have the following of the people, because they respect you and they think, and they  will go for you, so that is the key, if they have dealt on your values your integrity, your motives, then the loyalty and the dedication may not be completely there, and in order to lead people to object to ambitious objectives, you need there full dedication and engagement.

Date Recorded: 03/19/2008