A company has only one peerless role: chief executive officer (CEO). It’s the most powerful and sought-after title in business, more exciting, rewarding, and influential than any other.
What the CEO controls—the company’s biggest moves—accounts for 45 per cent of a company’s performance. Despite the luster of the role, serving as a CEO can be all-consuming, lonely, and stressful. Just three in five newly appointed CEOs live up to performance expectations in their first 18 months on the job. The high standards and broad expectations of directors, shareholders, customers, and employees create an environment of relentless scrutiny in which one move can dramatically make or derail an accomplished career.
What Makes a CEO a Great Leader?
It’s incumbent on the leader to set the direction for the company—to have a plan in the face of uncertainty. One way that CEOs try to reduce strategic uncertainty is to focus on options with the firmest business cases.
Ask successful investors what they look for in portfolio companies, and many will tell you they’d rather put money on an average strategy in the hands of great talent than on a great strategy in the hands of average talent. The best CEOs put equal rigour and discipline into achieving greatness with both strategy and talent.
Team & Processes:
The dynamics of a top team can strongly influence a company’s success. Yet more than half of senior executives report that the top team is underperforming. The CEO is often out of touch with this reality: on average, less than one-third of CEOs report problems with their teams.