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What does it take to be a top CEO?

What does it take to be a top CEO?

Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

That defining characteristic that singles you out as a leader is something that cannot really be quantified.

A heady mix of charisma, intellect, compassion and inspiration is surely a recipe for success – but how can you really judge who has what it takes and who’s lacking?

A recent study by Heidrick & Struggles, reported by City AM, found that top tier CEOs in the UK tend to have a background in finance, hold an MBA and be in their early 50s.

The report also highlighted that these Chief Executives tend to have been promoted from within, rather than being hired externally.

The study compared UK FTSE 100 CEOs with those in France, Germany and the US, and proved that in Britain the blue-chip index is less male-dominated, with the number of women entering the race having doubled between 2013 and 2016.

The CEO of Virgin Money, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, recently spoke out on what made her a stronger and more capable leader.

In an interview with the BBC, Gadhia claimed that her battle with depression made her stronger, and that her struggles after giving birth to her daughter led to her seeking medical help.  

“I think we still have a culture of not talking about it,” she said. “I don't want to get to a place where we've got everybody crying on each other's shoulders, but I think finding a way for organisations to support staff that want to talk about the issues that they're going through and having maturity of line management to know when that's required - to know where help can come - is really important.”