Summit Group Partners Blog

Leadership Qualities and the Role of CEOs in Today's Economy - PART 1

With the current instability, major drop in the Dow, high unemployment and no real glimpse of a recovery, true leadership is needed in all sectors of the economy...


if we are going to move the needle.


To navigate the ever increasing choppy waters, transformational leadership is needed to allow for the small to middle market companies to survive and thrive. These companies are the backbone of the economy and the role of the CEO has never been more crucial than at this time. Without strong value driven leadership this segment is at great risk. So what is leadership and the role of the CEO today?

Leadership is the ability to galvanize an organization, its people and systems towards a common vision while bringing people to places they would not necessarily reach on their own. Bringing together the right pieces to allow the team to outperform what the collective efforts of the individuals could do is a hallmark of great leadership. The most important roles that a CEO should embrace and excel at are those of visionary, facilitator and conductor. Developing the vision, setting the strategic direction, bringing together the needed resources and empowering the organization to excel are of the highest value a CEO can deliver.

In small to middle market companies some CEOs are not aware of the role they need to play within the organization to truly propel a company forward. All too often, they may stay in their comfort zone with the belief that their technical skills, such as marketing, sales or finance, which may have been a major reason they moved forward in the business, will be the role they should continue to play. There is a significant transition for new CEOs to move from being an executive to becoming the true leader of the business. They have to learn to lift themselves above the technical side and be focused on developing the vision, strategy, financing and organizational design to execute the strategy. Putting the right pieces in place from people, capital and systems to allow for the vision and strategy to be executed is a critical component that many new CEOs don’t understand as in previous roles these components were already in place.

It is said that the people make-up the success of the organization. Without the right leadership and culture the best efforts of the people in the organization can be misused or wasted. Many large companies may appear to run on their own inertia or through the efforts of many division leaders and the executives throughout the organization. It is the CEO who sets the culture and direction that the organization will take. Through his or her actions, words and ability to get others to follow, a CEO can move an organization towards outrageous success or failure.

In today’s ever changing environment and ongoing instability, leadership is more critical than ever. With the right person or team of people at the helm, companies can excel even in the toughest times. Double digit growth and higher than industry returns are possibly and are being achieved by companies who employ the right leadership.


About the author

Kevin Lombardo
Kevin P. Lombardo, Founder and CEO

Kevin founded Summit Group Partners to support businesses throughout the United States in their quest to accelerate a transformation and achieve sustainable change through strategies of growth, expansion and operational excellence. His passion is to help businesses and executives maximize their potential. Throughout his consulting career, Kevin has formally coached over 25 CEOs and business owners representing 10,000 employees’ globally and nearly $2 billion in revenues and helped them to unlock human potential and shareholder value. With 14 years of direct P&L leadership and over two decades of management and consulting experience in multiple industries Kevin can quickly bring the resources together to make an immediate impact on any organization. Kevin participates on various industry panels and has spoken at corporate and industry events throughout the country on the topic of accelerated sustainable change. Furthermore, he has authored numerous articles on corresponding subjects and has been interviewed by media outlets throughout the country.

Kevin directs all engagements for Summit Group Partners from inception and guides their progress throughout in order to ensure consistency and efficiency in all services delivered. He also manages client relationships and develops optimum solutions tailored for each client’s specific need. He has extensive experience assisting both healthy and distressed companies with M&A transaction leadership, revenue growth, operational improvements, restructuring debt, negotiating with creditors and unions along with locating financing.

Prior to forming Summit Group Partners, Kevin built two nationally renowned consulting practices from 2004 through 2010. Kevin has held numerous senior executive positions including CEO, President, CRO, EVP and CFO of publicly traded, privately held, Fortune 500 and private equity led businesses. Kevin has an extensive background in business leadership, strategic planning, growing revenue, profits and shareholder value of numerous businesses, executive development, entrepreneurship and turnaround management. As CEO of a $300 million dollar supplier of print services, Kevin led the transformation from a stale business model to a growth engine for the parent company, achieving revenue growth of 7% after multiple years of decline, reaching and sustaining the number one market share position and supporting the stock price increase of 300% within 15 months of taking the leadership role. He has held the position of CRO multiple times and has three times led businesses through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process with each company successfully emerging with a confirmed plan of reorganization. He has led and executed the management of the merger, acquisition, divestiture and integration of over two dozen businesses with total transaction value in excess of $1.5 billion. Kevin received both his BS and MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In addition, he holds a graduate certificate from Cornell University in Human Resource Management.



That is absolutely true todays..

I have just been invited to serve as Session Chairman for Private Equity and Venture Capital International Business Summit in Asia 2011 in India and have served as Co-Chairman for Corporate GOvernance Summit in Asia 2010 in Hong Kong.

Having just been nominated for 2011 Corporate Governance Award, hosted and sponsored by The Cross Border Group, I am invited Speaker for Stanford Graduate

School of Business Executive Circle Summits.

Keep on the good works.


Dr. Daniel W. Kwong

Senior Fellow, Hong Kong Institute of Directors (Corporate Governance Foundation


Editor Candidate, Contemporary Politics, published by Taylor and Francis Group in UK


Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Founder and CEO


Thank you for the kind words


Friday, 16 September 2011

Tenacity, communication and the ability to cheerlead the troups are of the essence. Concentrating on KPIs and vision aren't enough in my mind. Giving pieces of the elephant/s and having the ability to keep the troups happy and living in the moment is paramount.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

r read your article on Leadership Qualities and Role of CEOs in Today's Eaconomy Part 1. Please, Where can I read the other parts to this writing. Part 1 leads me to believe there will be other Parts coming. I found the first part very helpful.

Monday, 15 August 2011
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Summit Group Blog


posted by Aimee Miller on Tuesday, 03 April 2012

Kevin Lombardo has been appointed as interim CEO by the Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation (HTEDC) in Flagstaff, AZ.

posted by Aimee Miller on Monday, 05 March 2012

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