The 5 Traits Of A Great CEO

By | 2011/02/15

CEO is the man at the top of the pyramid. A Great CEO for me has some personal characteristics uncommon to other people. Successful CEOs are great leaders. They know themselves and what they stand for. The best CEO has the right personal characteristics, has broad and diverse experience and works in a structured manner to achieve goals for his organization.

The story of Pfizer ex-CEO is an excellent real life example on how a CEO should not be. Here are five characteristics of the great CEO:

Keeper of the Vision

It takes a great CEO to keep the company on track to achieve that vision. The vision of a company is the main guiding light for an organizations final goal. There are going to be many decisions and actions that a CEO will have to take, then there are going to be decisions that will satisfy a situation momentarily but will affect a company’s long term vision. Here is where the effective CEO kicks in and ensures that the vision of the organization is on track.


 Resourcefulness in CEO helps him to operate in the most lean conditions. They give much more than they take every day. They don’t give up. If the wall is too high, they back down and find another way around. And really resourcefulness is what makes any CEO an asset to the organization.

Very good at decisions

 Decisiveness is something a great CEO has to possess. Without a sound decision making ability, there is a very poor chance for you to lead your organization to success.

In fact, here’s a system you can use to become a better decision maker. It’s called the Q-CAT:

  • Q = Quick. Be quick but not hasty.
  • C = Committed. Be committed to your decision but not rigid.
  • A = Analytical. Be analytical, but don’t over-analyze (Too much analysis can cause paralysis.)
  • T = Thoughtful. Be thoughtful about all concerned, but don’t be obsessive.

When you use the Q-CAT, it’ll help you to decide when to bring others into the process and what steps need to be taken to help you make better decisions.


 It takes courage for you to fire somebody and it also takes courage for you to sign a merger agreement. A CEO needs to be bold at taking actions. There will be times when you will be hard pressed to take a judgement because there may be ugly consequences. However, you need to be courageous and bold in your decisions and actions.

An eye for talent

 A great CEO is able to spot the right people, with the right personalities, and put them in the right seats. This is great talent as keeping the right man for the right job, exponentially increases an organizations efficiency. Having the wrong people in a responsible post will cause them to perform poorly and undervalue their work.

No doubt, there are way more than 5 traits present in a great CEO. But I just mentioned the most important one’s that I felt personally. Let me know what you think are important traits in a CEO.

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