Leadership Qualities That Make Good CEOs

Leadership QualitiesHard work and dedication is required to become a CEO. Whenever the word CEO is said, one immediately starts to think of a person who commands respects and works relentlessly for the success and greatness of his company. Additionally, some great visionaries such as Travis Kalanick and Steve Jobs pop up in the head. However, not every CEO is a visionary like Jobs or has the leadership qualities that make successful CEOs. While visionaries are born, successful leaders can be made. Here are the leadership qualities that make good CEOs!

A tough role to fill, the role of a CEO is not for the faint hearted. Instead, the role requires a strong character—a person who can take initiative on his own and drive his team and company towards success and prosperity. However, it is seen that as soon as they are bestowed with the title, many CEOs forget about many of the qualities that they admired in their successor. For the success of a team and a company, effective leadership is key. But, what leadership qualities make effective and successful CEOs? Let’s find out.

The Ability to Lean from Past Mistakes

For CEOs, it is extremely important to learn from mistakes made in the past and avoid repeating them in the future. CEOs are humans and thus, are prone to mistakes. No matter how they try to avoid them, CEOs will make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them and ensure they do not occur in the future. For example, if in the past a disaster occurred and the CEO had not devised an action plan to deal with it, then the CEO should ensure that if a disaster was to strike the company in the future, there would be a plan to deal with the situation.

A Purpose

An unambitious CEO or a CEO lacking purpose or vision can never become an effective or successful leader. A McKinsey study shows that compared to other leaders in the company, CEOs tend to exhibit a greater sense of passion and purpose. As this allows things to move effective and swiftly towards the accomplishment of goals, this is generally a positive thing. However, it can be a negative thing if the CEO allows this purpose and ambition to turn into impatience. As a CEO, you not only need to exhibit exceptional entrepreneurial skills, but you also need to show great patience and perseverance.

Strong Communication Skills

To be an effective and successful leader, a CEO needs to have strong communication skills. In any setting, the most important skill that a CEO can have is the ability to communicate. A CEO who can communicate effectively will not only convey the message he intends to convey, but he will also help boost the morale of his team, ultimately helping the company to grow.

From motivating their teams to complete projects on time to providing them with the knowledge required to get the job done, CEOs must be able to communicate what they need, when they need it and from whom they need it.

Recently, Navalent—a consulting company, conducted a study on the development of exceptional CEOs. The study found that the most effective and successful CEOs consistently communicate in a balanced and transparent way.  A direct and easily understandable communication style is what effective/successful CEOs have. They effectively convey to their team the potential challenges and opportunities for the company in the future. This in turn benefits the team, the company and the CEOs themselves.

The Ability to Embrace Risk in Unique Ways

CEOs who embrace risk in unique ways or in ways that are different from the ways of other people in the company are likely to lead a successful transformative change within the company or even within an entire industry at times. Now, many people confuse embracing risk in unique ways with dealing with risks in a liberal way. Taking an extroverted approach to dealing with risks is not a good idea but accepting that there are risks and looking for ways that haven’t been tried often but are effective in dealing with risks is a dominant trait of effective and successful CEOs.

The Ability to Build Relationship

You probably already knew this. One of the biggest leadership qualities of successful or good CEOs is the ability to build lasting relationships. No CEO can be successful as a leader until he builds quality and lasting relationships with subordinates and clients. The best way a CEO can create loyalty and reputation for both himself and the company is building relationships. Additionally, these relationships can help create a positive word-of-mouth for both you and the company, which is always a good thing.

Listening Skills

According to the Navalent Study mentioned above, the way to distinguish the top CEOs from the rest is looking for the consistency with which the different CEOs listen to, and seek out the opinions and ideas of their coworkers and subordinates. It is seen that the top CEOs solve problems of the organization by incorporating the view of others into their plans. In short, a CEO who listens attentively is likely to be a successful CEO and leader. CEO are bound to come up with some ideas that are not so great. And, when they are in doubt about their ideas, the good CEOs will ask others for their opinion and listen to them attentively before choosing a course of action.

In addition to the 6 qualities mentioned above, there are many other leadership qualities that make good CEOs. If you’re interested in finding out about the other leadership qualities, then get in touch with us today.

by Bobby J Davidson

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