This is a compelling set of research around traits that contribute to success in the CEO role. The results point to attractive, charismatic, Ivy League educated extroverts often not being the best candidates. According to this research, decisiveness, the ability to engage stakeholders, adaptability, and reliability combined with a dogged ability to stay focused on at least a couple of these traits, is what creates the highest probability of success in a CEO. I have frequently counseled clients that they are not hiring the resume. The ability to develop screening methods that focus on identifying candidates who strongly demonstrate several of these key traits is a critical component of a successful CEO recruiting process.
when we compared the qualities that boards respond well to in candidate interviews with those that help leaders perform better, the overlap was vanishingly small. For example, high confidence more than doubles a candidate’s chances of being chosen as CEO but provides no advantage in performance on the job. In other words, what makes candidates look good to boards has little connection to what makes them succeed in the role.