Four Things That Set Successful CEOs Apart

Fascinating 10-year study by Harvard Business Review finds that successful CEOs share four common traits:

  • They are decisive, and make decisions quickly and with conviction
  • They get buy-in from employees and key stakeholders
  • They look for early signs of success or failure, and adapt or pivot speedily
  • They are reliable, and deliver results. That means they are judicious with what they promise, and strive to over-deliver.

The HBR study was based on 17,000 executive assessments by ghSMART, which studies career history, business results, behavioral patterns and emotional intelligence (EQ) in the C-suite of large companies ranging from publicly held Fortune 500s to privately held medium-sized firms and others backed by private equity.

Fun fact: Only 7% of high-performing CEOs graduated from an Ivy League university, and 8% didn't graduate from college at all.