No. 1 trait for CEOs: humility, authenticity, or empathy?



Hi and welcome to Contemporary CEO! I’m Stephanie Mehta, CEO and chief material officer of Mansueto Ventures. Every 7 days this publication explores inclusive approaches to management drawn from conversations with executives and business people, and from the pages of Inc. and Fast Corporation. If you obtained this publication from a good friend, you can sign up to get it by yourself every Monday morning.


A few weeks back, I wrote a piece suggesting that the No. 1 trait CEOs have to have appropriate now is humility. Tim Ryan, senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) U.S., argued that today’s leaders want to be daring, from time to time are unsuccessful, and have the humility to identify and correct mistakes.

A number of viewers were being fast to disagree. Advisor Brian Faulkner claims empathy tops his record of CEO characteristics, noting that humility is far more deferential, while empathy is a strategic skill that “requires a broad understanding of the large palette of difficulties and chances struggling with a chief at all instances.” David Meadvin, founder of CEO and communications advisory company A single Technique Group, contends that authenticity trumps humility, in particular among younger main executives. “You require to be snug in your have pores and skin you will need to be self-conscious enough to know what you do not know and in which you struggle,” he suggests. “You can get the job done to get improved at individuals factors, but typically it tends to make more perception to fill the gaps by finding folks who can do them superior than you can.”

Very good points occur in threes

To me, empathy, authenticity, and humility are complementary. These are characteristics that employed to be derided as “soft competencies,” but are now considered as critical parts of modern-day management.

They’re also intertwined. When I questioned Mark Smucker, president and CEO of The J.M. Smucker Enterprise, what authenticity means to him, his solution also shown empathy for his personnel and humility in acknowledging that he doesn’t have all the solutions.

“For me staying reliable is about honesty and transparency,” he claims. “I want workforce to not just know what we are doing but also why we are executing it. It’s getting the time to accept the realities of life whilst knowledge our workforce is comprised of much more than employees—they are moms and fathers, sons and daughters, good friends and partners, and so much more. It’s important for me to articulate this and my appreciation that these roles have obligations as effectively. And it is remaining eager to acknowledge problems so that we can do the job collectively to make the greatest conclusions.” 

What trait issues most to you?

Is the No. 1 trait for CEOs empathy, authenticity, or humility? Probably the respond to really should be: “all of the higher than.”

Let’s proceed the discussion above the No. 1 trait for CEOs. What tops your record of de rigueur management traits for a modern leader? Ship your feedback to  stephaniemehta@mansueto.com. I’ll publish the freshest insights in a future newsletter.

Go through far more: key management characteristics

How to be viewed as a extra authentic leader and man or woman





Resource url