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Gerard Seijts | Volkswagen's corporate leadership needs re-engineering

  • Gerard Seijts
  • |
  • Oct 6, 2015
Gerard Seijts | Volkswagen's corporate leadership needs re-engineering

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn

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When Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn stepped down from his role, as a result of the scandal surrounding the auto company for cheating on emissions testing, it brought to light the responsibilities of leaders.

In his op-ed for The Huffington Post, Gerard Seijts, Executive Director of Ivey's Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute of Leadership, exposed the critical mistakes leaders make in upholding their accountability and emphasized the qualities needed in a leader for a value-based work culture.

Although Winterkorn claimed to be unaware of any wrongdoings within his company, Seijts pointed out that Winterkorn had a responsibility.

“What about failing to lead in a way that ensured the decisions made on your watch were ethical?” he asked. “The essence of good risk management is asking appropriate questions and getting truthful answers. And so, if a CEO doesn't make it clear that he expects unethical behaviour to be outed by managers asking tough questions, then it probably won't be outed.”