Arthur D. Collins, Jr. & Sophia Shaw
Managing Partners, Acorn Advisors LLC
One of the most important responsibilities of any board of directors is to select and evaluate the CEO—and in the unfortunate situation where a CEO is not preforming adequately, to replace him or her in a timely fashion. In reviewing the efforts of many successful corporations and other institutions inside and outside the United States, it is clear that a board of directors should consider a number of important criteria when conducting a selection and evaluation process for any CEO. These efforts should be deliberate, comprehensive, and interactive. A board’s decision on the most appropriate type of individual to lead an organization, whether the CEO is already in place or is being hired from inside or outside the organization, should reflect both the current and future needs of the business (e.g., over the next decade).
The CEO position is all about leadership, and the two most important leadership criteria for a successful CEO are judgment and integrity. These two characteristics should not be considered as all-inclusive determinants of success, but rather as fundamental prerequisites that overshadow other considerations. Judgment and integrity also serve as the foundation for a number of additional leadership skills that an effective CEO must possess and continually demonstrate.
The list of 25 traits that follows is based largely on personal experience and observing many successful CEOs over several decades. (more…)