Five myths about CEOs

by Evan Davies, Chief Executive - QLD, VIC, NZ | |   Leadership
Five myths about CEOs

The path to becoming a CEO is different for everyone with such ambitions. Every leader has his / her own story. But far too often, there are stereotypes, myths and expectations about how they should lead and what image they should project.

Here are a few such myths about CEOs:

  1. They're the smartest people in the room

    The most successful CEOs are not always the smartest. They are the leaders who create the best team, set forth a coherent plan for the team’s success and inspire the people to make good on the vision. The smartest CEOs are vulnerable, open to hearing what they don't know, and are always trying to learn. They show up asking more questions than anyone else. They are OK with feeling stupid, because they know by learning, they'll come out ahead.

  2. They're extroverts

    A list of well-known corporate CEO introverts is not difficult to collate. Household names like Bill Gates, Larry Page and Warren Buffett would certainly make that list. Google also reports that 75 per cent of its senior leadership is comprised of introverts. The very notion that CEOs should be rockstar leaders who exude executive presence is nothing but a myth. 

  3. They have high EQ

    It is often thought emotional intelligence (EQ) is predictive of leadership performance. In an article for Forbes, TalentSmart co-founder Travis Bradberry revealed that middle managers, not CEOs, had the highest EQ scores. In fact, the EQ of workers increases to its highest with middle managers, but then decreased steadily from directors and above, with CEOs, on average, having the lowest EQ scores.

  4. They're social networkers

    It is a fact that the overwhelming majority of Fortune 500 CEOs have absolutely no social media presence whatsoever and those who do post and tweet don’t do it much. A social CEO can be a great asset to a company. However, without the right support around them to build and maintain a social presence, maintaining their focus on growing their business instead of posting online is possibly a better use of their time.

  5. They're great generalists

    The reality is, most successful entrepreneurs are exceptional in one field. Mark Zuckerberg and Gates are coders. Buffett and Schwab are financial wizards.

The CEO Institute was founded in 1992. It is now Australia's leading membership organisation for CEOs and senior executives. It provides a forum for over 1,000 Chief Executive members to connect and share their learning with each other. In 2011, The CEO Institute became the world’s first global certification body for CEOs, and in 2013, partnered with UNESCO in support of the "Malala Fund for Girls' Right to Education". In 2014, they began offering their programs globally.
The CEO Syndicate is an exclusive peer support network for CEOs. The first meeting of The CEO Syndicate program was held in Melbourne in June 1992. Offices were opened in Adelaide in 1996 and Sydney and Brisbane in 1997, with Perth launching in 2007. In 2015, the New Zealand office opened.
The Future CEO program is a certification course designed by the business leaders of today for the business leaders of tomorrow. The first Future CEO meeting was held in Melbourne in May 2012. In 2014, the "Future CEO Scholarship Fund for Women" was established, and continues to be offered today.

Membership of The CEO Institute is by invitation only. To register your interest, click enquire.





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