The future CEO traits – according to the top CEOs in the world

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A CEO, or Chief Executive Officer, is considered as the highest-ranking executive in a company and is responsible for the overall direction and performance of the organization.

The vision of a CEO is important because it sets the direction and strategy for the company. It provides a clear and consistent message to employees, shareholders, and stakeholders, on what the company aims to achieve and how it plans to do so. A strong and compelling vision can also inspire and motivate employees, leading to increased productivity and a more engaged workforce. In addition, a well-articulated vision can help attract and retain top talent, as well as attract investors and partners.

Robert Walters, the recruitment consultant, recently spoke with CEOs in the region to get their perspective on the CEO of the future. Below are the key takeaways from the interviews:

1. Different industries require different skills

75% of CEOs were promoted from top positions such as CFO and COO, however, thanks to digital transformation, technology leaders and commercial areas are being placed in these positions.

If it’s a technology-centric company and technology is the core business function, it’s an easier transition, but for a manufacturing company, they can look towards someone more commercial. There is an increasing number of companies from other sectors that see technology as the main driver of business, providing new opportunities for technology leaders with CEO aspirations.

2. CEOs must assume a more active role and lead global challenges

According to an EY study, while 57% of CEOs agree with the general proposition that CEOs of large companies should take a more active role in global challenges, only 45% of respondents say the same regarding their own companies. This 12 percentage point difference underscores how action on global challenges takes CEOs out of their traditional comfort zone.

3. CEOs need to be tech Savvy

In an environment that evolves dynamically at all scales, both operationally and in research and development, CEOs need to maintain innovation and have a general technological understanding that allows the development of products and solutions at all levels.

4. CEOs must lead by example

The CEO’s values and integrity will remain priorities. Leading by example means being coherent and consistent with the discourse. This coherence must be constant and expressed in concrete actions every day.

5. CEOs must focus on fostering organizational purpose

For 47% of employees, the company’s position on political and social issues is very important. Employees are looking for more organizations where their purpose is aligned with their life vision.

Candidates would decline a job offer if:

  • 59% of the organization will not take care of mental health
  • 60% of employee rights will not be respected
  • 62% will not take action on the wage gap
  • 51% did not have diversity and inclusion policies
  • 36% won’t care about climate change

Organizations need closer, empathetic, and human leaders

People want to feel connected to others who truly understand their circumstances, needs, and concerns. The closest bonds are usually formed when people allow themselves to be vulnerable. Transparent leaders who share personal stories from their own experiences, observations, and lives to share critical lessons about what worked, their mistakes, and best practices are welcomed with a higher degree of acceptance by their teams.

Source: Robert Walters Group

Read Next: Wire19’s global listing of top 50 IT/ITeS CIOs, CTOs, and technology leaders

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