"How does it feel to be CEO of Cheskin?"

20 Sep 2004|Darrel Rhea

Now that Christopher Ireland has relinquished the position of CEO to me, I have been fielding this question most every day. My first response is that I am humbled by the honor to lead such a talented group of people. Many of our folks are the best in the world at their respective specialties. The raw intellectual horsepower and creativity of our people allow us to compete successfully with the largest, most prominent consulting firms and research organizations in the world. Cheskin isn’t just any consultancy, so both internal and external expectations are extremely high. This position would be a challenge for even the most experienced CEO, and it certainly is one for me.

It’s also a positive opportunity for me to leverage the skills I have acquired over the last 25 years at Cheskin, leading and coaching a diverse range of senior executives, boards of directors, consultants and agencies. I find it exciting to use what I have learned through decades of engagements, to benefit my coworkers within my own organization, who rarely have had the opportunity to see me do my best work.

The part of this job that resonates with me most is that it allows me to be myself. I am most comfortable when I am listening deeply, and have the opportunity to work thoughtfully. My clients express their appreciation for my ability to step back and see patterns, to recognize gaps and opportunities, and then to help focus and realign their team — all of which I will apply here. And, I most enjoy drawing out the best from people, coaching and guiding them in their commitments, which is what this job is about. Cheskin’s management team is top rate and from an operational perspective, the company actually runs itself. I can concentrate on the bigger picture.

Cheskin has consistently been a major innovator in our category of business for over 55 years. While we have led the industry with our perspective, thought leadership, and inventive methodological approaches, our own organization hasn’t always benefited from it as much as it might. We have been more driven to defining and practicing the state-of-the-art than building a powerful institution. This is one of the aspects that I see we need to focus on now. Along with having the best people and best consulting and research products, Cheskin will be recognized as a world-class organization and culture.

So, how does it feel to be CEO of Cheskin? I find it to be an exhilarating, stimulating challenge!

prev next