4 behaviors that make CEOs great

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4 behaviors that make CEOs great


The stereotypical view — often promoted in magazines and on television — is that these leaders are charismatic, armed with an Ivy League degree and larger than life. That impression is both superficial and wrong, according to Elena Lytkina Botelho and Kim Powell, consultants at ghSMART, a Chicago-based management consulting firm.

After a 10-year study, Botelho, Powell, and their colleagues found that successful CEOs have four behavioral attributes that are often overlooked because they are not particularly glamorous. These CEOs make decisions quickly; they are relentlessly reliable; they excel at managing relationships; and they adapt swiftly to changing circumstances. Botelho earlier worked for McKinsey and AIG-Brunswick after getting her MBA at Wharton.

At ghSMART, she co-leads CEO Genome, a research project and client practice that supports CEOs and executives on their path to the corner office. The research explores paths and behaviors that lead to the top, as well as typical setbacks that CEOs encounter and ways to prevent them.

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