Who will run the “lead­er­ship fac­tory”?

The Guardian

The Week - - City - Ru­pert Neate

“Cam­paign­ing has be­gun in one of the world’s most se­cre­tive elec­tions,” says Ru­pert Neate in The Guardian. “Can­di­dates are not al­lowed to cam­paign of­fi­cially, can­not sub­mit a man­i­festo, and nearly all vot­ers earn more than $1m a year.” Wel­come to the race to be­come boss of the world’s largest man­age­ment con­sult­ing firm, Mckin­sey & Co. The “lead­er­ship fac­tory”, whose alumni go on to fill top jobs in gov­ern­ments and com­pa­nies glob­ally, of­ten ad­vises clients that trans­parency is the “the most im­por­tant driver” of per­for­mance. Yet Mckin­sey’s own pro­cesses are so “opaque” that the elec­tion of the new leader is com­pa­ra­ble with “the con­clave to elect a new pope”. The process will be­gin in Jan­uary when part­ners each sub­mit the names of seven po­ten­tial new lead­ers in their pre­ferred or­der; the win­ner will be an­nounced in March. The vote comes as Mckin­sey faces its big­gest cri­sis in years: it is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion in South Africa. But that hasn’t dented the firm’s self-be­lief: part­ners reckon they’re “the crème de la crème”. With so many “giant egos” in play, ex­pect the fight for the top job to be “bru­tal”.

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