Do you have the qualities of a good CEO?

An interesting extract of the book “The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons From CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed,” in NY Times talks about the 5 important qualities of a good CEO,

  1. CEOs are curious
  2. Are confident in their ability to work through challenges
  3. Understand team dynamics
  4. Are concise when thinking and speaking
  5. Willing to take risks

Some take aways from the article,

  • In front of the audience CEOs project the confidence in their projections, vision. In private, they share stories about failures and doubts and mistakes. They ask big-picture questions. (in my opinion sharing failures, doubts, mistakes in front of audience is a mandatory, after all everyone is human)
  • They want to know people’s stories, and what they do.  It’s this relentless questioning that leads entrepreneurs to spot new opportunities.
  • The C.E.O.’s are not necessarily the smartest people in the room, but they are the best students — the letters could just as easily stand for “chief education officer.”
  • Though chief executives are paid to have answers, their greatest contributions to their organizations may be asking the right questions.
  • The best predictor of behavior is past performance, and that’s why so many chief executives interview job candidates about how they dealt with failure in the past.
  • The most effective executives are more than team players. They understand how teams work and how to get the most out of the group. Just as some people have street smarts, others have team smarts.
  • Team smarts is also about having good “peripheral vision” for sensing how people react to one another, not just how they act. (you can experience this only if you play a team sport, this is the main reason I hate to miss my sport)
  • CEOs are irked by unfocused thinking. Nobody likes long, boring presentations.
  • Are you comfortable being uncomfortable? Do you like situations where there’s no road map or compass? Do you start twitching when things are operating smoothly, and want to shake things up? Are you willing to make surprising career moves to learn new skills? Is discomfort your comfort zone? Are you fearless?
  • CEOs should be able to manage change and need to have an appetite for change.



Leave a Reply