New Research on CEO Success Factors

The death of Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Steve Jobs has brought a lot of talk about the characteristics of the ideal chief executive officer.

One school of thought holds that successful CEOs are team players, good listeners and humble. In the book “Good to Great,” Jim Collins called such people “Level 5” leaders.

Yet Jobs and other superstars such as Jeff Bezos of Inc. and Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg aren’t generally seen in those terms. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Bezos was described as “not always a ‘nice’ CEO,” but rather as one who “can inspire and cajole but also irritate and berate.”

So which is the right model: The humble team player or the arrogant tyrant? Continue reading ..

What do you think are most important factors for a CEO to succeed?

2 Responses to New Research on CEO Success Factors

  1. Steve Jobs later success as an executive manager was a function of his maturing… and this took time and painful personal introspection on his part which he would never have gained had he not been forced out of Apple by Scully and the Board (on onto NeXT, Inc. on Pagemill Rd.). He was in fact a tyrant to many of his employees, though still a visionary, in those early start-up years. The fact that one can succeed in terms of an impressive valuation or stock value of a company has proven in recent years to have nothing to do with the integrity or humanity of the individual CEO. A “great” CEO is a balanced CEO, or at least that type of human being and successful business person I would bother getting to know personally and/or work with, in the context of “sensitive” strategic ventures, and/or recommend to others to engage (as strategic partner or ally).

  2. Thanks J. Brian. Your comment reminds me of the adage “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

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