What Makes A Great Ceo? A Guide For The Young And Ambitious By Eva Christodoulou - The STAR
Most individuals on HBR's list of the top 100 CEOs are based in the US
There are many young ambitious individuals who aspire to be chief executive officers (CEOs) at some point in their careers. But what does it take to be a great CEO?
By request of a young reader, let’s dive into this topic by first looking at what some global studies have shown about CEOs.
DEMOGRAPHICS OF GREATEST CEOs
Earlier this year, a Harvard Business Review study published a list of the 100 best performing CEOs globally.
Interestingly, out of these 100 CEOs, only two are females. Eighty four per cent are insiders to the company they became CEOs of (promoted from within).
Only 27% are holders of an MBA, 61% were college educated outside the United States, 38% were college educated in the United States, and 1% dropped out of college.
Data from ceo.com and DOMO also indicate that 97% of the CEOs are married and have an average of 3.1 children.
Additionally, 11% are bald, 36% have receding hairlines and 53% have hair. This indicates that not all CEOs are close to retirement.
The likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page are a good testament to that, even though they weren’t included in the top 100 study.
Many well-known names are surprisingly not included in the list of 100 due to the parameters used for the study. For example, the survey excluded CEOs who had assumed their role before 1995 or after Aug 31, 2010. So Tim Cook of Apple was not eligible since he became CEO in 2011. Equally, Marissa Mayer is also left out from this study.
In addition, they included only those whose tenure lasted more than two years. The list, therefore, is not exhaustive of all great CEOs around the world. It is a good starting point however, to have a look at what seems to make a great CEO.
What do these demographics indicate? The first observation to make is that we are still dominated by male CEOs. The fact that only two women made it to the list is quite discouraging.
Nevertheless, twenty per cent of these top CEOs emerge and operate in Asia. This is good news for us here in Malaysia.
The world is opening up and is no longer dominated merely by Western big multinationals. There is space for anyone worthy to rise up the ranks and reach that level of the C-Suite if one wishes to do so.
Is there formula or defined career path to follow if one wants to become a CEO? Unfortunately not. However, there are common traits between great CEOs that you can definitely work on.