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Many of Today's Executives Lack Strong Commitment to Communities

In contrast with 50 years ago, when executives were anchored in their communities and intimately involved with their customers and shareholders, many of today's corporate...
February 24, 2010

In contrast with 50 years ago, when executives were anchored in their communities and intimately involved with their customers and shareholders, many of today's corporate chieftains are often rootless and, as a result, subject to the influence of a changing cast of analysts and investment bankers, writes Roger Martin in the Harvard Business Review. As a result, he says too many executives ignore their best instincts in pursuing membership in this inauthentic community. The theme of this article is that while at one time business leaders were centered on Main Street - the communities where they live and work, and where their customers are - for many, the focus is now on Wall Street and the people who serve it.

Of course, Professional Insurance Agents stand out as a shining example of being connected to their communities. Agents sponsor Little League teams, serve on hospital volunteer boards, lead community charities - in short, they are contributing members of the communities in which they live and work. Their business is providing their neighbors with the choices they need to insure their property, their businesses and their lives. Other business executives may have lost their bearings, but Professional Insurance Agents have always been deeply rooted on Main Street, USA. It's a great place to be.

The Inauthentic Communities of the Modern Executive (Harvard Business Review 2/17/10)