Will The Rise of Business Women Kill the CEO?

I've often thought that the CEO will cease to exist. The command and control hierarchy is already dying in business, and the "one person on top" mindset is going as well. There's just too much to do in large companies. One person can't keep up. I think the C level executives will come to be seen as more equal, and the CEO will be more or less just the head of the group. They will make decisions together, the way many forward thinking companies already do.

Recent organizational behavior research has shown that women form groups that are more egalitarian and less hierarchical. It makes sense to me, as my primary observation of the women I've worked with is that they strive to build consensus more than men do. So that raises the question… as more women study business and rise through the corporate ranks, will it accelerate the death of the CEO as the commander in chief? And more importantly can we men maintain a balance between the competitive nature that drives many of us to be successful (because we want to crush our competition) and a more cooperative, group based management process? My hope is that the best parts of each approach win out, and we end up with both the competitive spirit and the cooperation that are so prevalent in great teams. (Think Red Sox and Patriots) But I'm not certain that our reward and promotion policies are taking us in that direction.

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