Survey Says CEOs Want to Learn More About Their Roles

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

Southern Wisconsin business executives want to learn more about the proper role of the chief executive officer, according to a survey conducted of about 40 executives by The Executive Committee (TEC).

"Our members are still trying to be good leaders is what it amounts to," said Dennis Ellmaurer, a chairman for TEC. "There is a lot of stuff in (the survey) that will come across as issues of leadership. I think that’s one of the key focuses that tends to come out of those surveys regularly."

Ellmaurer, who is a principal at Globe National Corp., a Milwaukee-based business consulting company, leads three southern Wisconsin sections of TEC, a self-described international organization of CEOs.

Each year, Ellmaurer surveys TEC members to gauge interest in topics that business executives want to learn more about during the coming year. He has been doing the survey for six years.

"I accumulate the data from my three groups to give me an idea of the types of topics that my TEC members are interested in," Ellmaurer said. "Then I go from there to secure resource specialists to speak to these TEC groups about the items that they’re interested in."

The survey provides a good indicator of the interests of executives in southern Wisconsin, he said.

In addition to learning more about the proper role of the CEO, other areas that executives said they want to learn more about include team building, coaching skills and dealing with change and growth.

Surveyed executives also expressed interests in learning more about mergers and acquisitions, cash flow and profitability.

In keeping with their interest in their company’s continued success, the executives additionally requested more information about future trends.

In terms of their employees, executives were most interested in learning how to improve the evaluation and retention of quality employees. Those surveyed also want to learn more about how to improve the general physical health and wellness of their employees, which can help reduce health care expenses.

Ellmaurer believes the survey results have evolved over the past six years, adapting to a changing economy and business interests. A greater interest in international business is an emerging trend this year.

"I think there are certainly some trends that are developing," Ellmaurer said. "The idea of international business is certainly something on people’s minds. China is certainly on some people’s minds. That’s probably something that’s changed over (the past six years)."

Most of the surveyed executives said they do not need more information about management style assessment, customer service or insurance and risk management. Additionally, they expressed little interest in hearing speakers on total quality management, problem solving, banking, outplacement, labor employment and law or substance abuse in the workplace.

TEC, which has expanded to include offices all over the world, was the initiative of Wisconsin businessman Roger Nourse. After Nourse’s lawnmower company lost a contract with Montgomery Ward, Nourse founded TEC in 1957 with executive friends to discuss problems and learn about different aspects of business.

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