A recent study on finding and grooming the perfect CEO had some interesting insights when you dug deep in to the answers.  Challey Group Worldwide launched the Global Leadership Research Project to shed light on leadership development efforts. They interviewed more than 1000 companies.

Let’s examine just one portion of the research because it is extremely insightful and will clearly demonstrate why you may often find people fail in your company when you promote them from one position to the next and what you need to do in order to make them successful.

Here was what they looked at:  What makes a CEO fail or succeed?

So first they asked, “When asked to identify the functional areas most likely to produce C-Level executives people chose-  from operations 68% , from finance 56% , and from sales 49%.

Later on, another question asked, “what do you see as the most critical competency of a CEO and 91.7% said creating a strategic vision followed by inspiring and maintaining leadership responsibility.

So you have people saying they look to find their CEO from operations, finance, followed by sales and that the two top competencies their CEO needs is to build a strategic vision and then inspire others.


When asked what competencies they look for COO’s and CFO’s to have, the above traits didn’t EVEN come in the top FOUR!  So in other words, the breeding ground for training your CEO in the top two competencies isn’t built in to your day to day expectations and leadership growth for those you expect to succeed.

This is a common problem I see where people solve the symptom of a problem, not the root of the problem.

Challenge yourself by looking NOT at the position a person has but on the position you expect them to grow in to.  Then train the thinking needed, not the doing, and get them as much exposure to developing that thinking as you can.

In a recent study it was found that 91.7% respondents thought the most critical competency of a CEO was to be able to create a strategic vision.

Learn more about strategic communication at www.impressionmanagement.com.