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Traits of CEOs

Home » Traits of CEOs

I read about a study of the traits of CEOs. Excellent CEOs were persistent, perfectionists, well organized, efficient, had good analytical skills and set high standards. The less successful CEOs were characterized by strong oral communication, teamwork, were flexible and adaptable, full of enthusiasm and were good listeners. Some readers’ comments were along the lines that good CEO needs all these traits, that business leader needs to be in the right place in the right time. Others suggested that getting into the CEO position has nothing to do with skill and everything to do with luck.

I knew more closely two CEOs. One was the head of a big department store in Houston. He was a direct, honest man with whom I played tennis as a doubles partner. He didn’t cheat in the game and didn’t cheat in business. When I came to see him at work he was reading papers and checking advertisements of competitors. His office was modest. Every Sunday he picked me up with his big Lincoln and brought me back after the game and lunch in his apartment because I didn’t have a car. In my eyes he was a good leader, good CEO.

The second CEO was hospital administrator where I was working. He was eloquent, had no spine or firm convictions. He was unsure of himself and just followed instructions of the board. His office was sumptuous. I couldn’t stand him. He cheated in tennis and cheated in business. He got into his position by default and not due to his skills and virtues. In my eyes he was a bad CEO but he lasted longer than I.

Milan Kalus – Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA


  1. Nejsem si jist jestli je treba se omezovat na reditele. Myslim, ze vse zminene je zcela obecnou zkusenosti.

    Ale psat o dobrych a prumernych kopacich asi neni tak poutave;)

  2. Bylo-li by o dobrých a průměrných kopáčích psáno poutavě, bylo by to zajímavější, než číst o omezených ředitelích :-) Ovšem o neomezených by mohlo jednoho taky potěšit…