Marketwired Blog

NIRI 2011: Leadership insight from the corner office

Adam Bryant, deputy national editor of The New York Times, spoke at the National Investor Relations Institute’s (NIRI) annual conference that took place this past week in Orlando, Florida. He oversees coverage of education issues, military affairs, and law and works with reporters in many of the Times’ domestic bureaus. He also conducts interviews with CEOs and other leaders for Corner Office, a weekly feature he started in 2009 for the Sunday “Business” section and on

During his tenure, he has interviewed more than 100 CEOs, who he cleverly referred to as “Chief Education Officers,” and shared insight into the minds of some of our most prominent corporate leaders.  

What makes a great leader?

Creating strategies is only a small part of the CEO’s role — it’s more about managing, leading, and fostering teams that co-exist within the corporate culture, which is the new “X Factor” of successful corporations.

How does a CEO hire his or her team?

There are five qualities of people who will move up the corporate ladder:

  1. Unbridled passion and curiosity
  2. Battle-hardened confidence
  3. Team smarts: Knows how people interact as a group and engages with them
  4. Simple mindset: Ability to look at an ocean of data and boil it down to the three most important elements
  5. Fearlessness: A bias to action and to taking calculated risks

 How does one become a better leader?

Leaders need to lead from their desks.  Once they have their message down, they have to repeat it over and over again to make things stick in the minds of the employees. And the No. 1 recommendation? Head to the golf course. Based on correlating golf handicaps to stock performance, “the green” is where deals are sometimes made.

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