Eight traits of contemporary successful CEOs

Changes in business life are happening faster than ever today in this globalized and hyper-competitive world. Inevitably, the content of the role of the CEO is changing along with it.

From an EffCo survey and several in-depth interviews with our customers, we tried to determine what qualities a contemporary CEO must possess to succeed.

The main conclusion is that there is no such thing as “one size fits all” and that every successful CEO fills his or her role to the best match their personality.

The role and responsibility of the CEO have not changed fundamentally, but how it is fulfilled has undergone a fundamental shift.

The new leader is characterized by 8 traits that are fundamentally different from in the recent past:

The new CEO:

1) Is bold and resolute.

2) Considers soft issues equally important as hard ones

3) Is a true casting director

4) Cooperates very closely with the Supervisory Board

5) Will permanently challenge the raison d’être of the organization

6) Has no full-time agenda

7) Is always curious and inquisitive

8) Assumes his/her responsibility

1) Boldness

In volatile and uncertain times, leaders who spot opportunities and chances in a timely manner and respond promptly are vital. However, being courageous and vigorous is not a synonym for recklessness. Still, it is opposed to endless hesitation and allowing things to take their course just because that’s the way things have always been done.

2) Gentleness

Nowadays, change is a continuous fact of life. As mentioned in previous articles, about 70% of all transformations fail because the human aspects of change are being completely overlooked. True leaders do not simply stop at the initiation of change but carry it through from start to finish, keeping their teams committed and highly motivated. To lead a company is more about people than about numbers.

3) Casting

The way a leader surrounds him or herself has a massive influence on the company’s success. When building your management team, don’t base it on who is already on board today but instead on the description of the required roles and responsibilities needed. Don’t surround yourself with yes-men, and don’t neglect to incorporate loyal, but rebel elements into your team.

4) Board of Supervisors

Don’t regard this body as an extra burden, but consider these seasoned professionals’ experience and input as precious. Be transparent, frank and evaluate potential future opportunities and traps. Allow yourself to show vulnerability, not only to your staff but also to your board. Permitting them to access your direct reports is an extremely vital first step in this.

5) Keep asking the “why” question

Continuously raising the question of your company’s raison d’être is crucial to sustained business success. Your business’s solid and broadly carried vision generates drive, enthusiasm, innovation, and dynamism.

6) Free up space in your agenda

It would be easy for any CEO to be at work 24/7, interfering with any and everything. Work fewer hours, be there for your collaborators and allocate time for yourself for sports, your family, sleep, pastimes, or however you get fulfillment. The 80s are definitely a thing of the past now!

7) Curiosity

Beware of complacency. Ask yourself every day what can be done better than yesterday; which products? Which services? Which distribution paths, Which new technologies, Which new markets? How can we increase the happiness of our employees? Etc … Turn into an eternal learner.

8) Take your responsibilities

Humility is a virtue. True leaders will say “we” have succeeded in case of success, while” I” have failed in case of a failure.