What Makes a Good CEO?


In business, a good leader blazes the trail, wears the path down, and shows you how to navigate it. Whether a company owner or someone hired to run a business, a CEO is a challenging role requiring abundant skill and diverse qualities.

A competent leader can make or break an organization, so those in this position must possess the right tools and know-how. Are you looking for someone to fill this l role? This is what makes a good CEO.

1. Leadership

Running a company and its employees isn’t just about sitting in the biggest office and collecting the highest salary. Leadership development helps you build the skill set for the position.

Top CEOs know how to inspire and unite their workforce as they work towards a common goal. They are great communicators and know how to communicate their vision to the team as they lead by example. They are also receptive to others’ opinions and listen to a person’s concerns to correct any issues that arise.

2. Reliability

Everyone that works for a company should be reliable and accountable for the position they occupy, and it is especially true for a CEO. They are at the head, and any negative behaviours will risk losing the respect and trust of those employed. A good CEO strives to be reliable in all situations to set an example. When they say they will do something, it gets done, period.

Being reliable also means:

  • Delivering on commitments
  • Being transparent
  • Thinking carefully about their words and actions beforehand

3. Team Player

A coach makes the plays and tells everyone what to do in their position, but a smart CEO plays the game as well. Autonomy is not always a good strategy because you can’t make key decisions without getting input from people in the trenches.

This position requires active listening and understanding of the right questions to ask to get valuable feedback. Employees feel valued and listened to, creating a more harmonious office ethos. A CEO that rolls up their sleeves and put in the hard work keeps in tune with their team, and they can also see where others’ talents can best be utilized in real-time and on future projects. They can then build their teams carefully, identify key people to place in leadership positions and get more productivity out of everyone.

4. Adaptability

Change is the only thing constant in business; the last few years have taught us that. A good CEO must be able to pivot when needed, and as changes happen in their industry and beyond, they can adapt their leadership style to whatever is most effective.

They have a change mindset to be ready for what is around the corner and are always looking to disrupt the market positively. They use their foresight to anticipate change and build scenarios to help them maneuver in rough waters. Those who like more structure and predictability must develop themselves, push beyond their comfort level, and be ready to take calculated risks.

5. Motivational

To be successful in a crowded field, your workforce has to be put out at the maximum level. Some people naturally want to give their all, but others need a reason. This is where a talented CEO comes in. They possess the right style of motivation that reaches everyone and makes them want to do better. Building a positive culture in a company is not easy because it takes trust, communication, accountability, and reward. CEOs need to motivate their staff to want to do better and be the best they can be.

Employees that are motivated work harder and are more enthusiastic about their employment. They feel like they are part of a strong team that values them. A good CEO creates that atmosphere through strong motivational tools like:

  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Incentives
  • Work flexibility
  • Positive recognition
  • Sharing their vision
  • Support mental and physical health

6. Executive Coaching

While working up towards the C suite and taking on a CEO position takes lots of hands-on skill and training, there is more to learn outside of the office that can develop an individual into a good CEO. Executive coaching involves getting a perspective from those who had gone before you and worked in your position. They have experience and expertise that will benefit you and can guide you through the pitfalls to prepare you for your role faster and more effectively.

Companies that offer this high-level training are there to not only support you but give advice through all your stages of growth in an executive position. This peer group helps you make better decisions, holds you accountable, develops your vision and improves your performance. These skills work in the real world because real CEOs mentor them, and it is an invaluable resource that will level up your skill set.

If your goal is to be a good CEO, you need to adopt these qualities. And the reward? Your workforce will give you 100%, and your company will thrive.


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