The myth of the heroic leader lives on

It’s old news now that Sol Trujillo is the new CEO of Telstra but we are going to see lots of stories referring to the New Telstra CEO before we’re out.
We’re not doubting that the appointment of a new CEO to Austrlia’s largest corporation is newsworthy. We do wonder however at the miraculous powers vested by various commentators in one man.
Ovum analyst, Rosalie Higson, was quoted in The Austrlian

Sol Trujillo is charismatic and dynamic, and has also demonstrated strong management skills. Most recently, he presided over the rapid and effective integration of Orange into the maw of France Telecom

Telstra chairman Donald McGauchie is quoted on CNN as saying

The Telstra board would expect Trujillo to “drive cultural and organizational change throughout Telstra, enabling the corporation to further embrace a service-driven, customer-focused way of doing business.”

Coupled with his $10m paycheque, there is a lot riding on Mr Trujillo.
Sorry but we just can’t get excited about it. (I gues if we were being offerred the $10m we might get excited about it.) We know it’s too much for corporate Australia to have learnt that one person is only part of a team. Sure as leader they motivate the team and bring the best out of the team. That’s a tough task and it is rightly the leader’s job. But to “drive the vision and culture change”? We know that’s the language and that’s what the board expects of Sol but we’re just a touch skeptical that Telstra has found a superhuman hero.

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