Being a CEO is no doubt a difficult role to fill. The weight of an entire organization falls on the shoulders of the CEO, whose every decision and action has a major impact on the company. While it is by no means the case that every CEO is the same, there are some key traits that all successful CEOs have in common. In the following discussion, I will be sharing some of the traits that separate successful c-suite executives from unsuccessful ones.
One of the most significant traits that all successful CEOs have in common is that they are adaptable. When you think about it, it comes as no surprise that good CEOs are adaptable individuals, considering that businesses are involved in complex, highly volatile situations, which are to some extent unpredictable. For example, the highly complex interactions between markets result in a situation in which no one can really predict, with certainty, the direction that the market will take.
To thrive in a situation of such high unpredictability, it is clear that one must be adaptable and not easily thrown off course. Successful CEOs are people who can not only remain calm and collected during times of uncertainty but people who can adapt and thrive when presented with an unprecedented situation.
People who are adaptable are able to deal efficiently with setbacks, and since every company is bound to undergo some setbacks, having a CEO who is competent under such scenarios is very important.
Another important trait manifested by successful CEOs is conviction. When making decisions that will have a permanent impact on the course that a company takes, it can be easy to lapse into indecisiveness. While this is a pretty natural occurrence, it can be detrimental to the success of a company.
A CEO needs to decide with conviction whenever he or she makes a decision. This is important for a number of reasons, not least of which is maintaining positive morale within the company. When the leader of an organization lacks confidence and conviction, it tends to trickle down amongst the workers in a company, impacting their confidence. When more and more people in a company begin losing confidence, this impacts the quality of their work, which in turn makes the company suffer even more. The psychological effects of an indecisive CEO on the employees of a company, therefore, have real-world consequences for the company.
Furthermore, a CEO who acts with conviction and is also adaptable will be able to bounce back from a poor decision. Making a bad decision can still be better than being unable to make a decision, and when a CEO is adaptable, he or she can bounce back from a poor decision and thrive, boosting his or her morale, and the morale of the company as a whole.
An obvious (but not to be underestimated) quality that good CEOs have is the ability to deliver consistently. Regardless of how much conviction and adaptability a CEO displays, if he or she is unable to produce results consistently, then he or she will be less likely to succeed as a CEO.
In fact, it has been shown that people who have achieved exceptional successes that are far above average in a specific field are less likely to be hired than people who have achieved normal success consistently. This is because people have less confidence in someone who has had a single exceptional success than someone who has had less exceptional successes, but more consistent success.
The three traits of adaptability, conviction and reliability are some of the essential traits that company’s look for during executive recruitment. Although there is no determined recipe for a perfect CEO, a company whose CEO has the above-listed traits has a high chance of success.