What skills does a CEO need?

What skills does a CEO need?

Executive Grapevine
Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

It’s well known that for all the publicity that CEO’s astronomical pay packets receive, the reason they get these positions are because of the skillsets they bring to the fore.

In fact, PLDT Chair Manuel Pangilinan, said that when he was looking for a new CEO they had “to be ready to die for the job, give up his family … Work over family. Period. If I could see that in that person, you’re it. You know, there is always a price you pay for the life you choose”.

Yet, what are Executive Search firms looking for when they’re hiring for C-Suite positions. Do they really look for CEOs that are willing to die for the company? Or, is the search a little more refined?

According to Ron Jabal, Senior European Union Expert, who canvassed a raft of Executive Search firms, C-Suite requires executives with leadership skills. Although this may seem obvious, the type of leadership needed will change dependent on the needs of the organisation. For example, businesses dealing with integrity leaders will want a leader who has shown examples of ethical leadership.

There is also a rising need for tech proficiency. Given the increasing and expanding contribution of technology in business, its incumbent on CEOs to understand how these processes work.

And, also high on the list of desirable traits is communication expertise. Although this is a skill that CEOs have always needed, in an atmosphere of increased customer vigilance, it’s integral that CEOs are managing their communication 24/7.

The last trait that Jabal describes is what Uber probably need at the moment – a CEO with excellent public relation skills who is able to communicate with the press, invested parties and internal staffers.

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  • Karen Armitage
    Karen Armitage
    Wed, 16 Aug 2017 9:18am BST
    In looking for leaders at any level I think the skill sets that include the following are all important:
    Intelligence; Emotional Intelligence: Social/ political skills and Resilience. The most important however (to me) is resilience. The ability to get back up and stand in front of where you dropped off when times are tough.
    Too many times when the going has been hard do I see and hear excuses and inappropriate behaviour to deal with the situation. It is very difficult to deal with failure or clumsiness or mistakes that are PR nightmares. However leaders are paid to lead, to deal with difficult situations and should face up to the responsibility to deal with it and get back into position quickly creating calm and direction for their staff and customers.

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