SHAFTESBURY AVENUE — The papers today seem disproportionately rammed with celebrity business owners and CEOs. There is no doubt that we love “human” stories. And a good personal narrative seems to suit us just fine.
But why do we have a gurning Stelios, Michael O’Leary in his pants and series of super-close-ups of Jerry Yang in today’s fish wrappers? There are so many more interesting and intellectually stimulating stories going on in the business world, no?
I can think of a few.
I have often lamented the idea of the CEO as Rock Star. But I tended to put it down to over-ambitious executives (BP, Formula 1, Ratners), or companies that wanted to take advantage of big characters (Virgin, Trump, CNN). However there is also a lot to be said for our human need to hear and tell human stories.
The US Election is a prime example. No one really tallied up the promises and made a decision with their economic mind. The Tories and Labour in the UK keep changing sides of who is going to spend and who will save, so fast that I have lost track.
So, it’s about personality… And maybe that’s okay.
I think we need to go into it with our eyes open though. Your Rock Star boss could end up as a Robert Kilroy-Silk.