12 Qualities Every Successful CEO Shares

July 19, 2022

The highest-ranking employee in a business is called the CEO. They are the company’s employees because they work for the company rather than being elected by shareholders. They are not your average employee; they have a lot of power and influence within the company.

The chief executive officer is also not an all-powerful leader with unchecked power and decision-making quality authority in businesses with strong corporate governance. The chief executive officer directly reports to and is ultimately responsible to the company’s Board of Directors (the board members elected by shareholders).

qualities of a CEO

Although a CEO’s specific duties may differ slightly from firm to company, in general, this person is in charge of determining whether the organization will succeed or fail.

However, many important qualities make successful CEOs. Some of these qualities may be innate, while others can be learned over time. To become a successful CEO, it is important to understand what these qualities are and work on developing them. Here are 12 qualities that every successful CEO shares!

Role of CEO (Chief Executive Officer)

Some CEOs, especially in smaller businesses, tend to be quite hands-on with some company duties. A chief executive officer can (theoretically) take on any top job or responsibility. CEOs may favor particular roles like marketing or finance, depending on their background and areas of expertise.

The stage of the company’s lifecycle also impacts; for instance, CEOs at earlier-stage startups might devote more time to fundraising than colleagues at more established companies.

A CEO’s time and expertise are best utilized by concentrating on a select number of truly high-impact core duties. These consist of:

Setting and Executing Organizational Strategy

The chief executive officer makes decisions on new product lines, creating (and preserving) competitive advantages, prospective new markets, risk mitigation, and opportunity spotting, among other things.

Harvard business review

The chief executive officer is the person with operational responsibility over strategy and execution. However, they will rely on a lot of information and input from top leaders and guidance and opinion from the Board of Directors, as with everything in an organization.

The stage of the company’s lifecycle also impacts; for instance, CEOs at earlier-stage startups might devote more time to fundraising than colleagues at more established companies.

Building the Senior Leadership Team

Top talent is attracted to firms by most CEOs who are effective. They are in charge of developing and managing the senior leadership team, who hire and manage upper and middle management within their divisions.

Still, they are not in charge of hiring or firing every individual employee. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the Chief Operating Officer (COO), and, depending on the structure of the firm, all other possible C-suite roles make up the executive leadership team (Chief Risk Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Investment Officer, etc.)

Although the board often defers to the CEO’s recommendation(s), in many firms, the board will have final (formal) authority over hiring decisions at the C-level.

Making Capital Allocation Decisions

While division and departmental managers may be in charge of their budgets, it is ultimately the CEO’s job to create and oversee the organization’s total budget to successfully carry out strategic plans to achieve business goals and objectives.

Steve jobs a well known CEO

The chief executive officer will also offer advice on whether (and how) to raise money and how to spend more cash effectively. Repaying debt, distributing capital through dividends or share repurchases, or reinvesting in the company are all strategies.

Setting Vision, Values, and Corporate Culture

The goal, vision, and values developed and put into practice by a good CEO will eventually drive the corporate culture in many distinct directions, even though it contains many organic elements.

The entire organization is watching; thus, good CEOs must be highly mindful of their demeanor, behavior, and every move they do (or don’t take). How they dress, portray themselves, and interact with other employees will impact how the rest of the company operates.

Communicating Effectively With All Stakeholders

The chief executive officer is the public profile of the business. They might present the company’s interests before members of the public, the media, legislators or other regulators, other executives and staff members, clients, vendors, or any other interested parties.

While it’s necessary to communicate the fundamentals of the goal, values, and vision, it’s much more crucial to live these principles. There is always someone watching over their shoulder; thus, the CEO is never truly “off duty.”

Superpowers of Top CEOs

An individual who wants to become a chief executive officer must possess essential qualities of a CEO that set them apart from other employees as they advance from the working ranks to lesser executive positions and, ultimately, the highest levels.

Sometimes people are born with these abilities and are referred to as natural leaders who inspire others and guide a team to victory. Others, however, might need to spend some time learning these abilities.

The Ability to Trust Others

The CEO must create a climate of mutual trust and positive relationships in which they may have faith in their coworkers and subordinates.

This suggests that a CEO must be prepared to delegate authority while managing multiple organizational roles. The CEO must, however, feel at ease delegating authority to a variety of people while simultaneously keeping an open mind about them.

This shows that while the CEO must delegate authority to carry out duties, the CEO ultimately has the power; therefore, the CEO must supervise and bear accountability for all corporate choices made by the workforce.

Controlled Emotion

A CEO needs to be able to keep their emotions under control. This does not imply that a CEO should act inflexibly or neglect to acknowledge accomplishments or failings. Instead, the emotion level must be high enough for coworkers and subordinates to comprehend the feeling’s deeper meaning.

Harvard business school

A CEO should preferably not become overly enraged at trivial errors or overly joyful at trivial victories. Instead, they must be able to encourage workers and point them in the proper direction so that the team may accomplish the organization’s overarching goal.

A Risk Taker

A CEO should ideally be able to take calculated risks after thoroughly analyzing the probabilities connected to the decision’s profit and loss outcomes.

A person afraid of taking risks is typically not a good candidate to be CEO because such a leader would probably make the business fall behind rivals. A CEO should be capable of taking chances, but those risks shouldn’t endanger the company’s profitability or survival.

An Optimistic Nature

A CEO should generally be upbeat and capable of seeing opportunities even in challenging circumstances. While motivating others to maintain a positive outlook and put in extra effort to get through challenging times, the person must be able to think creatively and develop methods that can successfully battle the risks faced by the firm.

The Ability to Be Innovative

Organizations must adapt to a business environment that is rapidly changing due to factors including globalization, a competitive corporate environment, rising inflation, and rapid technological innovation.

Any firm that can continuously innovate and offer a variety of characteristics in their goods and services that their rivals haven’t yet promoted will succeed. A CEO should be able to foresee the future and create a set of tactics that successfully battle change and provide long-term prosperity.

12 Traits of Successful CEOs

Here are some personality traits and abilities you might want to work on developing if you want to be a great CEO:


Executives must have optimism at work. High-performing CEOs are responsible for reaching specific objectives and having a vision that can aid the company’s success, in addition to serving as a mentor to the other workers in the office.

Positivity has several benefits, including the capacity to inspire others, influence employees to think creatively, and foster long-lasting bonds with all team members. A positive leader cares deeply about their team and the individuals who make up the business.

A CEO should be able to foresee the future and create a set of tactics that successfully battle change and provide long-term prosperity.


Acceptance is another quality of great CEOs. Accepting CEOs not only ensures a diverse workforce but also understands that errors and limitations are common. Making mistakes at work is typically how employees advance in their positions.

aspiring CEOs

Therefore, they shouldn’t be afraid to do so, and a CEO should encourage that. Employees can better acknowledge, openly admit, and move past mistakes if they know their employer accepts minor failings.


Loyalty is significant because it allows a CEO to influence employee loyalty. Long-term employees at a firm contribute to a lower staff turnover rate, which saves the business time and money by reducing the need to train and hire new employees.

What a devoted CEO and team provide to the company is even more significant. Customers might infer an employee’s commitment to the company from their words and how enthusiastically they approach their work, which can boost sales and satisfy customers. Dedicated workers may also suggest qualified candidates for available opportunities.

Loyal CEOs uphold the company’s principles, influence others to do the same, develop a strong workforce, and desire to invest in employee training to help them excel in their positions and reach their full potential.


Understanding CEOs treat their staff with a certain amount of consideration and compassion. You are more likely to consider how they feel about work issues, such as broad corporate changes and pay scales.

An understanding CEO considers an issue from all angles to better understand how different people may interpret particular events. Top CEOs with a solid understanding of the business may make business decisions advantageous to the company and consider the workforce’s interests.


A lot of positivity can enter your office once you’ve gained the respect of your staff. Most importantly, gaining your staff’s trust will increase their sense of commitment to the company and the work they accomplish.

most successful CEOs

Employees are less worried and more content with their jobs, which creates a sense of fulfillment. Mutual trust also enhances your working relationships with others. If you’ve gained your employees’ trust, you undoubtedly already have a solid working relationship, but it should develop further over time.

Being trustworthy also allows you to effectively break the bad news to your workers while maintaining their confidence that you’re acting in the organization’s best interests. Your openness, especially in trying circumstances, is much regarded.


You may observe that your team works harder to achieve their goals, is more devoted to their work, has better communication, is more productive, and has more original thought when they feel inspired by you as their manager and the company’s leader. They might also work together more.

A culture where everyone feels like they belong and can contribute positively to the organization is created by inspiring leaders who invest in their team members, recognize their talents, assist them in improving weaknesses, and appreciate their contributions.


Along with confidence, there are other qualities of a CEO and skills. When a CEO has faith in themselves, they should also have faith in the business they are in charge of, its staff, and the job that everyone does to boost the organization’s success. Confidence fosters concentration, powerful leadership, and vision.

As with employees, it’s critical for effective CEOs to be confident since it improves job performance, fosters a more optimistic outlook, enables you to solve problems by considering them from several perspectives, and keeps you motivated at work.

When a leader demonstrates these traits in their work, followers are likely to be motivated to follow suit.

Critical Thinking

Making decisions for the firm based on careful consideration and extensive foresight is a sign of critical thinking. To foresee what the company would need to handle in the future and make plans appropriately, the best CEOs responsible for managing the company and ensuring its success must look at data and elements like the economy and rival companies.

Examine all of the potential possibilities of a scenario and consider how you would respond to each one if they materialized to begin thinking critically.

You’ll be able to think more creatively and improve your problem-solving skills. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each choice in light of the long-term performance of the enterprise is another aspect of critical thinking.


A caring CEO may positively impact the profitability of the company they oversee and motivate their entire workforce. You can discover more about each business employee by asking them questions and paying attention to all the answers.

former CEO

You might get to know them better, be able to identify with any accomplishments or difficulties they encounter, and choose how best to help them in their work and beyond. Compassion entails having empathy for and real concern for your staff members.

Employees are typically happier, more productive, less stressed, and better able to collaborate in teams and come up with innovative solutions to challenges when a caring chief executive officer is in charge of the organization.


Reliability is one of the most critical qualities a CEO should possess. Your workforce must regard you as the company’s leader and someone they can trust to act in the interests of the workers and the general public.

Reliable CEOs keep their word, finish what they start, communicate clearly, announce company news promptly, and make time and resources accessible to their staff. The staff can trust the organization’s potential when the CEO is dependable.


Some of the best CEOs have a genuine enthusiasm for what they do and the business they run. Typically, you do this because you support the company’s mission and core principles and want other people to feel the same way.

A driven CEO wants to see people succeed, so they may create training programs to support passions and host motivational events where they reaffirm the worth of the company’s core principles.

A driven CEO should experience greater production figures, decreased employee turnover, and staff members that desire to do a good job since it’s in the organization’s best interests through interactions with all the people in the company.


It’s crucial to maintain your curiosity, even in a leadership role. Curiosity is the desire to learn more, which can be expressed in the realization that you don’t know everything, in asking your coworkers for advice based on their abilities, and in being receptive to learning from everyone you work with.

A CEO with a curious nature may have several inquiries to learn more about individuals or certain procedures. They might attend seminars or conferences to learn more, encouraging colleagues to follow suit.

A driven CEO wants to see people succeed, so they may create training programs to support passions and host motivational events where they reaffirm the worth of the company’s core principles.

Conclusion: The Most Qualities Every Successful CEO Shares

When establishing your leadership abilities in business and your own company culture, it’s a good idea to take inspiration from the leaders you like most, but don’t forget to play to your strengths.

Concentrate on refining your leadership style because it is what you have. Setting objectives, assigning duties, fostering open communication, and creating time for employees are all traits of effective leaders.

CEOs falter

They prioritize long-term fixes, celebrate success at all levels, and never take their jobs too seriously. Encourage open dialogue and cooperation among coworkers. Maintaining a workplace with employees can help you appear more approachable than closing yourself off from them will.

You won’t always act morally, and you won’t always have the solution. However, maintaining a firm understanding of what your organization stands for and consistently fighting for the interests of your team are two guiding principles that will keep you grounded. Your team depends on you.

About the author: Joe Silk -

Joseph is a freelance writer who focuses on sharing our Startup Oasis team's abundant knowledge with the rest of the world. Our team has no secret for anything to do with Startups, SaaS software firms, technology, Web and mobile apps, IoT, UI/UX Design. View on Linkedin