Top Traits That Separate the Top CEOs

Take a look at the CEOs who head up the biggest companies in the world and you’ll start to notice some startling similarities.

Not in how they look, not in how old they are – but how they act. To be a CEO, you have to have a certain DNA. You have to be made up of certain attributes and in short, just not everyone has it in them.

However, what exactly are these attributes? We’ve delved deep and scrutinized the most successful CEOs in the world and found that the following four characteristics are what separates them from the rest.


Their knowledge of the industry is immense

Take a look at any CEO in the land and you’ll notice that their knowledge of the industry they are involved in is incredible. We’re not just talking about what’s going on now; they know everything that’s worked and flopped in the past, and they know the exact direction the industry as a whole is heading.

They can spot trends and understand where value is being created – they are able to predict things that are quite instinctive.

Take a look at this interview with Charles E Phillips, Infor CEO. As most of us know, this is someone who is the definition of a successful CEO following years of excellence in the technology industry. He is a working example of putting this attribute into practice; he knows the value of knowing an industry inside-out and has subsequently released software which focuses on niche industries, rather than targeting the masses. Knowledge of an industry is key.

Their knowledge of their business is even more impressive

Unsurprisingly, if they know all about the industry they are involved in, it goes without saying that their knowledge of their own business is even more impressive.

We’re not just talking about knowing the manager of each department either. We’re talking about them knowing the ins and outs of every little element. He knows how all departments merge together and work seamlessly – appreciating the strengths and weaknesses that are part of day-to-day business.

Decision making is second nature

This is another one of those attributes that arguably cannot be taught. Some people are just born to make decisions quickly and ultimately, quickly. A good CEO almost certainly falls into this category.

It’s obviously not a case of plucking an answer from the air, it’s more about taking advantage of their other skills such as communicating and analyzing to scrutinize the decision and make that all-important final move.

Clear decisions breed confidence – something that is mandatory in any successful company.

They strive for excellent relationships

Some CEOs might appear quite aloof and unapproachable – but the good ones go against this. The good ones strive for excellent relationships with the people that matter and attempt to connect their team.

These good relationships aren’t “fake” by any stretch of the imagination; good CEOs are able to communicate so well that relationship-building is never a problem. When it comes to the most important members of a company, the employees, it goes without saying that this is another hugely important element.