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7 Characteristics Of Top 5 Fortune 500 CEO

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the person who holds the highest position at an organisation. The CEO might not be the owner of the company but they will be the one who makes major decisions on behalf of the business. For many high-achieving professionals, the ultimate career goal is to become a CEO. Thus, here will be sharing the characteristics of Top 5 fortune 500 CEOs. Let’s see what kind of characteristics are required to become a “CEO material”.

1. Confidence

When the rank of the CEOs rise higher, the decision they made can have bigger impacts. Hence, confidence is one of the characteristics of a successful CEO. They must have confidence in themselves and have confidence in the company they are in charge of, the employee as well as the work everyone completes to bring success to the company. CEOs with confidence in their leadership may have inspired employees to model the same in their works. Additionally, CEOs need to have confidence to assemble the best people by their side so that they can gather enough information before making decisions. 

2. Passion

Best CEOs are always truly passionate about their work and the companies they run. For instance, passionate CEOs interact with every employee in the organisation to increase their production levels, reduce employee turnover and also interact with employees who want to do their job well because it is in the best interest of the organisation. Moreover, passion derives from a strong connection to your mission, vision and goals. Thus, it might be impossible to understand a company as well as how and why it is run the way it is without the passion and connection. 

3. Curiosity

CEOs will be someone who demonstrates their curiosity and asks masterful questions to evaluate the macro and micro situation as well as the possibilities for success. It is significant to remain curious even in managerial positions. Curiosity opens them up to realise that you haven’t got all the answers. CEOs with curiosity may be asking a lot of questions to better understand a person or a particular process. They will never ever pretend to have all the answers as they know there are so many options. This will be the reason why curious questioning is important for success.

4. Emotional Intelligence

High emotional intelligence (EI) is a characteristic that is owned by almost every CEO. CEO as the nucleus of the company’s culture, their strengths, values as well as personal struggles are reflected throughout the organisation. Hence, companies will need a leader with high emotional intelligence. This will also be the reason why they need to build their Emotional Intelligence in themselves, it is reflected in their leadership culture. 

5. Relationship-Building Skills

As successful CEOs, they need to have the ability to build deep and trusting relationships with clients and also the employees as relationships can help to create loyalty and a good image for CEOs as well as the company. Furthermore, a positive relationship can also create great word-of-mouth. It can be a plus for your business. As James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner said, “When leadership is a relationship founded on trust and confidence, people take risks, make changes, keep organisations and movements alive. Through that relationship, leaders turn their constituents into leaders themselves.”

6. Understanding

CEOs have to be people who are understanding. They will show some care and compassion to their employees. For example, CEOs need to understand their employees if there is an emergency. This can also help employees to focus more on their work and prevent them from making mistakes. Besides, they might be more likely to consider many things in the workplace such as widespread company changes, the company’s pay scale or the feeling of their employees. Thus, CEOs must be understanding and accept the situation as well as handling the things accordingly. 

7. Ability To Anticipate and Navigate Challenges

CEOs need to have the ability to anticipate and navigate challenges they overcome. They mostly dare to be different by being prepared for the challenges of today and anticipating the unknown challenges as well as the possibilities which lay around the corner. As CEOs, they have the emotional stamina to go against the grain. With that, they are able to take risks to get some great opportunities instead of just talking about them. 


Above will be the 7 characteristics of Top 5 fortune 500 CEOs. CEOs will set the tone for how an organisation runs and these are some of their characteristics that are able to greatly affect the company’s success.  

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Shone Fone is a Serial Entrepreneur for 10 SMEs since 1997, businesses ranging from equipment supply, manufacturing, equipment maintenance and ISO 17025 calibration service, HRM software development and training. He also an award winning entrepreneur of Asia Pacific Top Excellence Brand – Book of The TOP Recognition.

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