A new Harvard Business School study outlines some surprising findings about what makes CEOs successful.
For example, although boards like to hire "charismatic extroverts", introverts score higher on actual performance. Interestingly, all the CEO candidates in their study had made material mistakes and 45% had at least one career blow-up that ended in a job ending or significant cost to the business. Education, surprisingly, didn't correlate to CEO success. Only 7% of highly performing CEOs had an undergraduate Ivy League degree and 8% didn't graduate from college. Many qualities that the board responded to positively such as high confidence, also didn't correlate with performance.
What DID work? Read below to learn the four behaviors that did lead to high performance.
If you are the CEO or are coaching one, there were four behaviors that predicted which CEOs would have effective results. They are:
1. They made decisions with speed and conviction. These leaders understand that even a wrong decision is better than endless dithering.
2. They engage for impact. The successful CEOs knew how to engage employees and other stakeholders to support their vision. They didn't avoid challenging conversations and were masters at conflict management.
3. They adapted proactively. CEOs with high performance didn't wait for the tsunami to flatten the organization, they were out ahead of the wave and used change to their advantage.
4. They delivered reliably. That sounds basic but sometimes in focusing on confidence, boards tended to ignore the need for a CEO with a track record of following through on commitments.
Significantly, CEOs who exhibited this behavior were more successful 95% of the time. In addition, other leaders who aspired to be CEOs and focused on developing these four behaviors were much more likely to climb the corporate ladder.
Did You Know
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