The role of CEO, which is very difficult to fill, is among the most coveted roles. According to HBR, around a quarter of CEO departures were involuntary in the Fortune 500. The high turnover for this position costs around $112 billion (est.) to stakeholders in the lost market according to a 2014 PWC study.
There are some qualities which set high-performing CEOs apart from low-performing CEOs. So, let’s have a look at these.
All great CEOs had one thing in common. They were decisive. They know where to steer their company because they have a vision. Great CEOs are not known for making impressive and prudent decisions. They are known for making decisions. Making a wrong decision is better than making no decision at all. They make a quicker decision and radical decisions even where there is no certainty.
An interesting thing about CEOs is that most of them, who have high IQ, struggle with decision making. Their decision might be prudent, but they take too long to decide. And in turn, their teams pay a hefty price for this indecisiveness. Slow decisions makers make things frustrated as the time taken to decide shortens the time of execution.
So, decisions should be taken quickly. And, if you feel that waiting for a decision is worth it and you can get crucial information in the meantime without causing much damage to the company, then you can wait.
Setting objectives and getting buy-in
Once a CEO sets a clear vision and objectives for the business, it is important for them to get buy-in from all the major stakeholders. High performing CEOs are able to present valuable insight to all stakeholders and focus on delivering results. Knowing about the needs and motivations of the major stakeholders — CEOs who are able to effectively engage stakeholders, perform better than others.
With great discipline and influencing strategies, CEOs who are good at involving others in their plans. They make it clear to all the members of the team that they are extremely important and they have to contribute to making the plan successful. When interacting in team meetings and social gathering, great CEOs are aware of their body language. And, how it can affect other people. Every single face expression you make and every word that comes out of your mouth can be magnified 100 times by the employees, board of members and other stakeholders.
High-performing CEOs hold their teams accountable and they do not invest energy in protecting other low performing employees. Instead, they instill confidence in their team members and help them grow by encouraging them to focus on their shortcoming and weaknesses. They are able to deal with the discomfort which comes in confronting others. Candidates who are good at conflict management and who don’t try to avoid the painful situations advance to the positions of CEO earlier than their counterparts. When dealing with conflicts, high-performing CEOs give everyone a chance to speak but they don’t take sides.
Adapting proactively and Delivering results
You already know how important it is for businesses to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. High-performing CEOs are more adaptable than others. They are able to face new challenges. They invest more time in long-term planning and take measure decisions to adapt to future challenges in advance. Adaptable CEOs are not afraid of failures. They take every failure as an opportunity to grow and to learn. On the other hand, bouncing back from failures is difficult for low-performing CEOs.
As obvious as it may sound, great CEOs are able to deliver reliable results. Board of members and investors are looking for a CEO who is able to deliver reliable results. Many leaders think that reliability is trivial.
These are the staggering qualities which set great CEOs apart from low-performing CEOs. If you are looking forward to hiring a CEO, try looking for these qualities. You can also hire a company such as ecap, which specializes in executive search and board advisory, to help you find the best fit for the position.