What CEOs Have to Work On

December 17, 2013

What CEOs Have to Work On

I found this chart today while scanning the Harvard Business Review’s Weekly Hotlist. The chart shows what CEOs think they need to work on to be better CEOs and what Directors think CEOs need help with. From this chart, you can see that CEOs (yellow bars) think that they need the most help with conflict management skills, followed by sharing leadership/delegation and listening and communications skills. They think they need the least work on motivating others. When you look at what Directors think CEOs need to be coached on (orange bars), they think CEOs need to work on mentoring/developing internal talent (sounds like identifying and training CEOs-to-be), sharing leadership/delegation (giving others a chance at responsibility and losing control) and the holy grail of listening better. What struck me was that CEOs and Directors apparently don’t think that CEOs need to work on compassion and empathy skills. Perhaps these high level execs think that compassion does not belong in CEOs’ job descriptions or that it cannot be taught or something else. On the contrary, compassion and empathy should be core skills for CEOs in this increasingly complex world where reputation counts. 

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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