I had a strange sense of déjà vu (or should that be déjà lu?) when I read Baroness Kingsmill’s recent article in Management Today. She was exploring the idea that when a Finance Director gets promoted to Chief Executive it rarely turns out to be the success that everyone hoped for. She cites Gordon Brown’s ascent from Chancellor to a disastrous Prime Ministership as a vivid example of this concept.
Nothing wrong in that you might think. Except that I wrote an article in The Times last October saying almost the exact same thing. Indeed it began ‘one of the classic mistakes in business is to promote the Finance Director to Chief Executive’. I went on to quote the promotion of Gordon Brown from Chancellor to PM to demonstrate the point.
Of course I’m not suggesting that the redoubtable Baroness might have been prompted to write her article by reading mine. Clearly not a case of ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’; more a case of ‘great minds think alike’.
Finance & Management magazine liked the article so much they asked to reprint it this month…