CEOs are the top leaders of their organizations and are responsible for driving growth, innovation, and profitability. As such, identifying the attributes that best predict success in CEOs is an important topic of research for both academics and practitioners. Over the past few years, a number of studies have been conducted to identify the key characteristics that are most closely associated with CEO success.
One study, published in the Harvard Business Review, analyzed the career paths and personal traits of over 2,600 CEOs in order to identify the attributes that were most predictive of CEO success. The study found that four key attributes were most closely associated with CEO success:
- Adaptability: CEOs who were able to adapt to changing circumstances and respond quickly to new challenges were more likely to be successful. This included the ability to pivot the company’s strategy in response to market trends or shifts in the competitive landscape.
- Consistency: CEOs who were able to consistently deliver strong results over time were more likely to be successful. This included the ability to manage risk effectively and make sound decisions that aligned with the company’s long-term goals.
- Vision: CEOs who had a clear and compelling vision for the company’s future were more likely to be successful. This included the ability to communicate that vision to employees, customers, and other stakeholders, and to inspire them to work towards a shared goal.
- Emotional Intelligence: CEOs who demonstrated high levels of emotional intelligence were more likely to be successful. This included the ability to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, and to use that knowledge to build strong relationships and foster collaboration.
Another study, published in the Journal of Management, looked specifically at the role of CEO personality traits in predicting CEO success. The study analyzed data from over 2,000 CEOs and found that three key personality traits were most closely associated with CEO success:
- Conscientiousness: CEOs who were highly conscientious, meaning they were organized, dependable, and responsible, were more likely to be successful.
- Openness to Experience: CEOs who were open to new ideas and experiences were more likely to be successful. This included the ability to think creatively and embrace innovation.
- Extraversion: CEOs who were highly extraverted, meaning they were outgoing, assertive, and sociable, were more likely to be successful. This included the ability to build strong relationships with employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
It’s worth noting that these studies are not the only ones that have been conducted on the topic of CEO success, and that there is some variation in the findings across different studies. However, the results of these studies do suggest that certain attributes and personality traits are more closely associated with CEO success than others.
Focusing on the above attributes and personality traits in the selection and development of CEOs may increase chances of hiring success and drive sustainable growth and innovation.