Star CEOs: What Sets Them Apart

There are some prevailing stereotypes associated with successful CEOs. They’re loud and extroverted, with a penchant for self-promotion. While that might be true of some, there’s a lot more to a CEO’s success than those factors. Based on data compiled by Harvard Business Review, the stereotype might not be quite accurate.

Using several different evaluation methods of hundreds of CEOs globally, researchers arrived at some conclusions about the world’s best CEOs. They are inherently risk-takers, the researchers found. In addition, there’s no evidence that extroverted or self-promoting CEOs are more successful than others who lack these traits.

Now that the stereotype has been discredited, to what can we attribute the success of world-class CEOs? Here’s what the data shows:

  • They show a greater sense of purpose and mission, and demonstrate passion and urgency.
  • They value substance and going straight to the core of the issue.
  • They have a greater focus on the organization, outcomes and results, and others than on themselves.

Harvard Business Review’s Dean Stamoulis writes, “When a board wants to increase their odds of hiring a successful leader, it should interview and assess candidates for intensity and impatience, find those who focus on core issues, and search for a leader with the ability to have a point of view while still being open-minded and recognizing the power of the organization around him or her.”

For more insight, see the full article from Harvard Business Review.