Using Darling and Leffel’s (2010) framework, this essay will evaluate on how Josef Ackermann demonstrated his leadership style as a Swiss banker, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Deutsche Bank and Chairman of Zurich Insurance.
As defined by Peter Northouse (2001), leadership is a process, in which an individual influences a group to achieve a common goal. And to achieve that goal, a visionary leader should put forth much effort to critically apply his leadership skills and knowledge. In general, leadership is more than management. To be successful, a leader has to be strategic, show motivation and innovation, and should be flexible and focused…show more content… One of his biggest goals was turning Deutsche Bank into one of the world's top three advisers on mergers and acquisitions and returning its status to the top ten in market value (Guyon , 2004).
As a Director-level leader, Josef Ackermann has been well regarded and recognised by many as a successful and effective manager and leader, shifting the style of management from a conventional mode to one that focused on the needs of shareholders and on international expansion (Mitchell, 2010). According to Lussier and Achua (2010), leaders such as Ackermann are able to take swift and decisive action, even in the most difficult situations, and take calculated risks while persevering in the face of failure. Strong communication skills, self-confidence, the ability to manage others and willingness to embrace change also characterize a successful leader.
Ackermann has also been a member of the influential Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty and also served on other company boards, including Bayer AG, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Linde, Mannesman, and Siemens AG. Ackermann changed the distribution of power within Deutsche Bank, resulting in criticism from traditionalists and praise from those who shared his global focus, allowing him to become the most powerful man in Germany's financial industry (Loades-Carter, 2005). Ackermann successful steered his bank through the 2008 global financial crisis. Quoted in his speech before the Atlantic Council, ‘Germany will