What happens when CEOs have too much power

In recent weeks, we’ve seen how concentrated power and a lack of diverse perspectives on corporate boards can cause systemic blind spots in organizations and lead them into avoidable crises.

Facebook, for instance, is currently in the crosshairs of regulators, business partners and users after damning reports came to light about its reaction to a drumbeat of bad news. Carlos Ghosn’s devastating fall from the upper echelons at Nissan has thrown both the auto maker and its longtime partner Renault into crisis, and has cast doubts on the structure of corporate governance in Japan. And his behavior as an “imperial CEO” led to Jeff Immelt parting ways with GE, heralding a corporate meltdown of epic proportions. These are just some of the most recent and visible examples of how power — particularly absolute power with few checks and balances — can presage a crisis.

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By Rita McGrath for CNN Business Perspectives