The Best CEOs Have These 4 Pairs of Conflicting Characteristics
Industry TrendsLeadershipBoard and CEO AdvisoryExecutive SearchAssessment and Benchmarking
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May 16, 2017
Industry TrendsLeadershipBoard and CEO AdvisoryExecutive SearchAssessment and Benchmarking
CNBC.com has published a bylined article by Russell Reynolds Associates CEO Clarke Murphy titled “The best CEOs have these 4 pairs of conflicting characteristics.” He explains how the most successful senior executives are masters of “competing competencies.” The article is excerpted below.
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What we want from our CEOs changes with every economic boom and bust. 
      
In the late '90s it was the "vision thing." After the tech bubble burst, it was a focus on growth at all costs. In the shadow of the global financial crisis, we wanted leaders who were comfortable with cost cutting and capital allocation. 
      
Today, in the most global, complex and interconnected world we've ever operated in, what we want of our CEOs is not as easy to describe. The world is changing too quickly, and we are all realizing that simple leadership models can no longer keep pace. 

In the 30 years since I started my career, we have learned a lot about CEOs and executive behaviors. We have gotten much more scientific about how we assess leaders, and our description of leadership behaviors have become richer and more nuanced.​ 

At the same time, CEOs and Boards have become increasingly interested in using data and science to hire leaders. Given the rise in competition, disruption and uncertainty, it is no surprise that companies are focused on hiring the best possible candidate for the job. 

So what does the data tell us?​ 
    
To read the full article, click here.​​