We are inspired by them and sometimes disappointed with them. That’s the role we all wish to be in at some point of our career. We try to understand their minds and mould us likewise. Their charisma, business acumen and the fact that they know how to remain invincible convince us to imbibe their ways. Yes, ‘CEO’ is the ultimately destination we signpost in our career.

As per the Bunsen Martstellar report, Who wants to be a CEO , the top five reasons includes , opportunity for complex problem solving , ability to create a personal impact on the business and satisfaction of implementing an idea . These were followed by reasons such as , making a difference to the world by building a company to last, taking it from good to great and create an impact on employee well-being.

Marlene Prost points that charisma, credentials and vision are the prime characteristics of a CEO . As described by her, these factors weigh over the past performance as it may not always guarantee success in future. Furthermore a cultural fit becomes handy in the long run. Though, Roger Edward Jones, in his book’s title, What Can Chief Executives Learn From Stand-Up Comedians, shares charisma can be inculcated through preparation, confidence and creativity for creating that edge in effectiveness. Sangeeth Vargeesh , founder of Leadcap , stated in The Leader’s Lifelong Learner’s Permit, that leaders never shut their brains. They do every task attentively making sure they learn from every moment. Certain responses are conditioned by the cultures of the country. Peter Capali compared the Indian CEOs to their western counter parts and reflected that the difference lied in ‘social purpose’. The Indian leaders want cell phone, health care and other benefits for everyone.

According to Inside the Minds: Leading CEOs – The secrets to Management, Leadership & Profiting in Any Economy, different CEOs are driven by a bevy of values. Fredric M. Poses, CEO to American standard Companies, believes fundamental never go out of style. His fundamentals included three areas, concerning people, environment and focus. According to him, the leader needs to create an open environment, communicating to develop and retain people. This is followed by creating a result -driven framework where expectation are managed and employees can strive for success. Finally when economic cycle changes, would growth-building favoured to fuel profitability? John W. Loose CEO of Corning categorise his learning as getting to know business, setting up an environment ,making personal communication to every single employee ,avoiding a bogey man , building a company to last 100 years, challenges and choices for a CEO including minimise risk to maximise opportunity. Bruce Nelson, CEO Office depot emphasises balancing priorities for the bottom line including employees, customers and shareholders. It’s important for the leader to look for the subtleties and maintain harmony. His three daily focuses include people being managed by human resource, money through CFO and customers through marketing. Thomas C. Sullivan, CEO RPM believes in picking the right people, becoming a business leader, assessing the value of a company through how would it add to the bottom line and how does customer value them. Encourage innovation with customer in mind. Handling risks in acquisition through trust and network of people to achieve a unified vision. His values inlcudes cutting layers, defining early warning signs and not keeping a long memory of failures.

On the downside to the CEO dream, certain areas such as low work-life balance, emphasis on quarterly earnings, High stress, high public scrutiny, managing talent and stakeholder’s expectation, high travel , overly competitive environment and diminishing authority doesn’t account for the compensation offered. Jeff Immelt, CEO GE electric reflected that he works 100 hours a week and spend 60% of his time on the road.

  • dpblanchette

    Excellent article. But I do have a question. In his statement “John W. Loose CEO of Corning categorize his learning as getting to know business, setting up an environment ,making personal communication to every single employee ,avoiding a bogey man , building a company to last 100 years, challenges and choices for a CEO including maximize risk to minimize opportunity.” Shouldn’t it be minimize risk to maximize opportunity? I was a little confused on what Mr. Loose is striving to say about risk and opportunity. Did I miss something?