Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Some people just aren't cut out for CEO-type decision-making

More on decision-making from H. Paulett Eberhart, the chief executive of CDI Corp. She speaks about making decisions with confidence. Yes, I point out, but when she makes a decision, it's not like choosing between a Mercedes and a Lexus. Her decisions mean people can lose their jobs or the company can lose its way.

Some people just aren't cut out for CEO-type decision-making

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Paulett Eberhart, the new president and CEO of CDI Corporation, in the offices of CDI in Philadelphia. ( Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer )
Paulett Eberhart, the new president and CEO of CDI Corporation, in the offices of CDI in Philadelphia. ( Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer )

More on decision-making from H. Paulett Eberhart, the chief executive of CDI Corp. She speaks about making decisions with confidence. Yes, I point out, but when she makes a decision, it's not like choosing between a Mercedes and a Lexus. Her decisions mean people can lose their jobs or the company can lose its way.

"Yeah, well, there are all kinds of decisions that you make in your life," said Eberhart, who heads CDI, an engineering and staffing company with $1.1 billion in annual revenues and more than 9,000 employees globally, 175 in the Philadelphia area. The company is based in Philadelphia.

"That's part of why I try to get information, why I try to have a strong team around me, so we have conversations and discuss it, so I'm not making it in a vacuum. And I'd like to think that at the time, we made the the right decision, given the set of circumstances and the facts that we had. 

"Other than that, I think that's all that a human being can do," she said. "Just know that you are grounded, that you are trying to do the right things for, if you want to talk about it at the business level, for the company, and you move forward.

"Now can it have consequences? Yeah, and that's why some people, at a certain level of leadership, they don't want to be responsible for making those levels of decisions, and that's OK.

"I think it's good that they recognize it." 

In yesterday's blog post, she talked about not looking back after making a decision. You can read my Sunday Inquirer story on Eberhart by clicking here. In it, she talks about lessons learned from bad bosses.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at jvonbergen@phillynews.com.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
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