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Chief Executive Officer’s Leadership Qualities

American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) has been created in 1885 in the United States of America. For a long time, the company has been a monopolist of the local and long-haul telecommunications in the country. However, closer to the 1990s AT&T has been forced to focus on the long-haul telecommunications only. At present, the company is the largest telecommunications provider in the United States, as well as the second greatest provider of the wireless services in the country. The company’s CEO is Randall Stephenson, and, judging from the AT&T’s performance, he is quite a successful leader. He became the company’s CEO, Chairman, and President in 2007 and, since then, he has greatly developed the company and strengthened its position as the largest telecommunications company in the world. Randall L. Stephenson can be regarded as an effective leader whose main characteristics are excellent communication skills, intelligence, and determination; from the perspective of the industry source, these characteristics are leadership skills, executing the company’s strategies, and continuous improvement; with these characteristics, Stephenson is likely to leave behind rich organization legacy to the company.

To begin with, the fact that Stephenson is an effective leader can be proven by his possessing and exhibiting such characteristics as excellent communication skills, intelligence, and determination. Good communication skills are vital for a CEO because he/she often has to pronounce public speeches or participate in the negotiations with other companies or investors. Being convincing is being successful for an ability to stand one’s ground means that a person is confident in his abilities. Being intelligent and knowledgeable is of no less importance for it allows having a global perspective on the issues relevant to the company’s work (Benton, 2009). Stephenson obtained his BS at the University of Central Oklahoma and his master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma. This means that he is an educated and intelligent person, which, in its turn, signifies that he is a talented manager and leader. Lastly, Stephenson’s determination is evident. He is a person who clearly identifies his personal and career objectives and does everything possible to fulfill them; his career growth between 2003 and 2007 testifies to his determination, to his not stopping when facing the obstacles, and achieving the desirable at any cost. These characteristics make Randall Stephenson an effective leader.

As far as the source industry is concerned, according to it, such qualities as leadership skills, executing the company’s strategies, and continuous improvement make Stephenson an effective leader. As stated by Silos (2003), the leadership skill is “the managerial ability to adapt to situations; operationally, it is the skillful manipulation of people, things, and ideas” (p. 122). From the perspective of the industry source, this skill is, perhaps, the most crucial for a CEO because, without his/her ability to manage people, the company will never develop properly and become highly competitive. The same goes about executing the company’s strategies; this characteristic is closely connected with the CEO’s leadership skills because outlining the strategies and defining the ways to execute them is one of the primary tasks of a CEO. Taking into account AT&T’s organizational performance, Stephenson is quite successful in doing this, which makes him an effective leader. Continuous improvement further contributes into Stephenson’s list of effective leader’s characteristics. Improving performance is what the source industry is interested in above all for such performance leads to higher profits. For the past two years, Stephenson has significantly developed AT&T, which means that this quality of his is extremely valuable.

Possessing all these characteristics, Stephenson cannot but will leave behind certain organizational legacy to his company. Stephenson has introduced a number of changes into the company gradually turning AT&T into the largest telecommunications company in the country. He will leave behind innovations, such as wireless communications, the service which the company started providing after he became its CEO. What’s more, Stephenson will leave behind reliability and a firm customer base which will allow the company developing further for the next several years. Finally, Stephenson will leave behind the greatest legacy, the company’s reputation. AT&T gained reputation of a successful company, a leader in a particular industry; this will always be remembered by the company’s clients, partners, and investors who altogether will continue contributing into its development and prosperity.

In conclusion, there are number of important characteristics which a leader should possess. Defining the most important among them is extremely difficult this is why considering particular characteristics is possible only on a separate example. This is example is Randall Stephenson whose professional skills and qualities allowed AT&T t achieve high levels of development. Stephenson’s most important characteristics are excellent communication skills, intelligence, and determination, which, as has been proven, make him an effective leader. According to the source industry, Stephenson possesses such characteristics as leadership skills, executing the company’s strategies, and continuous improvement; these expand the list of those professional qualities which AT&T’s CEO has. All these characteristics allowed Stephenson leave rich organizational legacy to his company; this legacy consists in innovations, firm customer base, reliability, and perfect reputation.


Benton, D.A. (2009). CEO Material: How to Be a Leader in Any Organization. New York: McGraw Hill Professional.

Silos, L.R. (2003). The power of the leader: mind and meaning in leadership. Hong Kong: Goodwill Trading Co., Inc.


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