Leaders with PhDs have some great advantages 

but they also experience unique challenges

Common complaints of leaders with PhDs...

  • "It's frustrating when my team doesn't grasp my analysis of what we need to do."
  • "It’s annoying when I’m working with people who don't have the same attention to detail as me."
  • "It's frustrating when people don’t follow my ideas because they lack the same level of knowledge that I do."
  • "I wonder why they don't just do what the logic of the situation dictates."
  • "It can be difficult to find talented people who share my values and approach."
  • "To be honest, I'm tired of repeating myself."

If this is ringing true, it's a headache. To solve that problem, you need to take a new approach. My book will show you how.

(We will send you the hardcopy book, not a downloadable PDF. 

We will pay for the full postage and mail it you)

Common mistakes made by leaders with PhDs..

In the words of leading executive coach Marshall Goldsmith PhD, "What got you here won't get you there." ...

No doubt, a PhD can be an invaluable asset for a business leader, especially in a world as complex as ours. A PhD brings deep subject matter expertise, research and analytical skills, learning agility, the ability to generate thought leadership, problem-solving abilities, and credibility. These strengths can contribute enormously to business success.

But there's a flip side. PhD training inculcates habits that can detract from doing a top job as a leader. Some common mistakes that leaders with PhDs may make include:

  1. Assuming that others share a level of expertise, and failing to communicate effectively with team members who lack the same background or knowledge.
  2. Focusing too much on their specialised area, and neglecting other important aspects of running the organization.
  3. Being paradigm-bound (it even happened to Einstein in the end), and failing to embrace new ideas or approaches that may challenge their established way of thinking. No one can argue against a new idea more convincingly!
  4. Becoming a bottleneck through inadequate delegation (fuelled by the perception that others lack sufficient attention to detail.
  5. Neglecting the importance of relationships and collaboration with team members, stakeholders, and partners outside of their own area of expertise.
  6. Failing to adapt their communication style to fit the needs of employees at different levels of the organization.
  7. Underestimating the importance of teams with diverse capabilities. Although they may have been part of a research team, the PhD is an individual award. PhD leaders sometimes fail to recognise the potential contributions of employees who may not have the same level of technical expertise.
  8. Thinking they can learn anything and therefore not seeking input or feedback from others who may have a different perspective or expertise.
  9. Being too focused on perfect long-term results (after a three or four year training that could be ultimately delayed by the requirement to make 'minor corrections') and failing to execute adroitly albeit imperfectly.

That's quite a list and of course, it's unlikely that any one person would recognise all these issues! But as Dr Goldsmith's quote above reminds us, the strengths that got a leader to their current level will often work against them as they seek the next one. Leaders who fail to shift their mindset risk getting stuck.

The Leader as Educator

Committed Action will teach you to make the mental shift to thinking of "the leader as educator." The good news is that PhDs already have experience of what is required.

Just as the best university teachers can bridge the gap between their deep knowledge and the basic understandings of their students, so the best leaders bridge the gap between their sophisticated grasp of technical and strategic issues and the standpoint of their diverse employees.

(Conversely, we've all known brilliant researchers who struggle to communicate with a lecture theatre full of undergraduates).

Committed Action boils down the "leader as educator" mindset into a simple three-part process, the ‘C.E.O’ method:

  • Curiosity – open the minds of people to be receptive to new possibilities. Different people need different reasons to get interested.
  • Exploration – help them discover for themselves exactly what they need to ‘get’ about your business and how it produces value.
  • Ownership – transfer responsibility for results, for their good and the good of your organization.

What leaders say about the Committed Action approach explained in the book:

The idea of "leader as educator" is spot on

“Leaders who need their people to take ownership will appreciate this enjoyable guide. Andy's idea of ‘the leader as educator’ is spot on in a world where organisations have to learn, and re-learn, faster than ever.”

PROFESSOR Rooney Anand  //  Former CEO of Greene King Plc; Executive Chairman of RedCat Pub Company Limited

A Clear Roadmap

"Committed Action is a clear roadmap for how leaders can inspire commitment in today's challenging environment.”

Dr NANCY MACKAY  //  CEO And Founder, MacKay CEO Forums

Launch your leadership into a higher orbit

"As the pool of talented people becomes ever more diverse, leaders need new ways to engage their commitment. Launch your leadership into a higher orbit with Andy Bass's C.E.O. roadmap"

Professor hanifa shah //  Executive Dean, Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University.

Clear, actionable advice

Clear, actionable advice for any organization seeking to grow or innovate. Before you start throwing money at the problem, unlock your hidden potential.

DR Michael Smets  //  Professor of Management, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

The mentality that distinguishes the best organizations

“In 30 years of business life, what distinguishes the best teams and organisations I have worked with is not intellect, or education or even resources – it is exactly the mentality described by this book.”

Rory Sutherland  //  Author of Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense, and Vice-Chairman, Ogilvy

Who is Dr Andy Bass?

Andy is the founder of BassClusker Consulting, an executive advisory firm that helps leaders grow their businesses faster by using resources they have already. He has advised leaders in more than 30 industries, including professional services, finance, technology, manufacturing, health, education, the arts and media. Andy has also served as a Forum Chair for MacKay CEO Forums, an international peer-to-peer learning organization for CEOs, and has taught both corporate and SME executives at Oxford Saïd, Warwick, Strathclyde and Aston Business Schools. He has a PhD in Software Engineering from Aston University.

In addition to his work with for-profit leaders, Andy is a volunteer for Cranfield Trust, providing pro bono consulting and advice for the CEOs of UK charities.

Andy has written four books: The Performance Papers: incisive briefings for busy leaders, NetworkAbility: building your business one relationship at a time (with Helga Henry), Start With What Works: a faster way to grow your business, and his most recent, Committed Action.

© Copyright 2021 Andy Bass - BassClusker