HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
Three sets of traits to look for in spotting successful chief executives
What are the attributes that separate successful CEOs from others?
We all know the stereotypes: great CEOs are extroverted. They’re self-promoting. They’re risk takers. But are these stereotypes true? And which attributes separate successful CEOs from others? Best-in-class CEOs stand out in three ways: 1. They show a greater sense of purpose and mission, and they demonstrate passion and urgency. These traits often manifest themselves as intensity, impatience and an eagerness to move forward as well as a strong sense of ownership and immersion in activities. Researchers at McKinsey recently published related observations pertaining to new CEOs. They asserted that the worst thing new CEOs can do is "sit on their hands". The best-performing CEOs "move boldly and swiftly to transform their companies". This doesn’t mean making decisions and actions that are overly spontaneous or impulsive, but it does mean valuing efficiency and speed in analyses and when acting on strategy. 2. They value substance and going straight to the core of the issue. They have ...