I have been confronted with this question a lot lately. Is it be better to have a strong leader from outside an industry or a weaker leader from within an industry? I have an opinion on this that seems to be a bit different from the local markets, but wonder what it is like elsewhere.
In my opinion, it is much better to have a strong general leader from outside the industry rather than have a weak leader with industry experience.
Project management is project management, regardless of the type of industry that you are going into. There may be a few learning curves early on when creating cost models and other proposals, but those are learned quickly. True leadership, however, is not learned as easily.
I have seen many examples of poor industry leaders destroying projects or departments. At the same time, however, I have seen strong leaders lead projects to great success while knowing very little about the product or industry itself.
What do you think?