Leadership challenges are always going to be an issue for the role of the CEO. They are perhaps a key reason why many people still turn down such a position as the demands are sometimes seen as simply not worth it. Since the recession, the role of the CEO has come under heavy scrutiny and become a focal point in the press and media.
We discovered during our research that most people felt that the leadership challenges facing CEOs today were new. There has been a great deal of change in: the role, environment; creative people leadership and external focus.
After speaking to key representatives from various companies, we found that the top five daily leadership challenges for CEOs to focus on were:
- Level of external focus
- People focus
- Dealing with uncertainty
- Complexity of the role
- Customer focus
Taking these leadership challenges into account, we asked what are the skills, experiences, and behaviours that are essential for today's CEO?
What is the DNA of a successful CEO? There were six key attributes highlighted during our interviews which people felt were the most crucial for the role.
- People leadership
- Breadth of experience
- External relations
- Track record of managing change
- In-depth technical knowledge of market and sector
- Detailed understanding of the business
There are also common personality traits and behaviours that CEOs need. It's great to have strong people leadership skills and a breadth of experience, but they must also be combined with passion and authenticity.
Which current CEO would you say has the perfect CEO DNA?