More access to general management without “soft skills”
Leadership StrategiesLeadershipBoard and CEO Advisory
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October 28, 2019
Leadership StrategiesLeadershipBoard and CEO Advisory
The evaluation mechanism of a CEO has four components: strategy, execution, team management and influence.
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Les Echos Executives

The Les Echos Executives article, "More access to general management without “soft skills,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Paul Jaeger as he describes the qualities that make up a good CEO. The article is excerpted below. 

Being disruptive and/or pragmatic 

Russell Reynolds Associates tries to identify, among other things, the “CEO material” of a candidate, to determine if he/she has what it takes to be a leader today. The evaluation mechanism has four components: strategy, execution, team management and influence. "We believe that these elements are the four pillars of leadership,” explains  Paul Jaeger.   

“And for each of them, we are working on the future leader’s capacity to manage paradoxical situations. For example, in terms of strategy, is the manager disruptive or pragmatic? The two dimensions are contradictory, and the thing that interests us is measuring the proportion of each of them,” indicates the consultant. 

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Mixing power and vulnerability 

The profile of a good CEO is a balanced one. “In terms of team management, we are looking for leaders who are both heroic and vulnerable – meaning they accept and also know how to show their limits,” adds Paul Jaeger. Vulnerability is, as a matter of fact, considered to be the best way to build strong relationships with the teams. By accepting and showing that he/she does not have all the answers, a leader is opening himself/herself to others and develops a feeling of confidence. 

Knowing how to galvanize and connect 

For the power of influence, the preference will go to the candidate who can simultaneously “galvanize,” meaning able to have a personal impact with others and make sense beyond financial results, as well as be the “connector,” capable of building bridges between coworkers and the ideas circulating outside the company. ”For a leader to be influential, he needs both dimensions,” explains Paul Jaeger. Also, “it’s not because a leader is marked by an organization who doesn’t know how to bring its managers to light, or who doesn’t favor the creation of external networks, that he/she is not capable of being influential.” 

To read the full article, click here.