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Keys to Spotting a Flawed CEO — Before It’s Too Late

It’s a good list, but what bothers me is why focus on the CEO? Thanks to Luke Froeb of Management R&D for posting this last week, from the Wall Street Journal: Keys to Spotting a Flawed CEO — Before It’s Too Late.

I think I agree with one of the commenters, why not choose a president this way too?

For example, among the keys to watch for are

  • An overt zeal for prestige, power and wealth.
  • A reputation for shameless self-promotion.
  • A proclivity for developing grandiose strategies with little thought toward their implementation.
  • A fondness for rules and numbers that overshadows or ignores a broader vision.
  • A reputation for implementing major strategic changes unilaterally or for forcing programs down the throats of reluctant managers.
  • An impulsive, flippant decision-making style.
  • A penchant for inconsiderate acts.
  • A love of monologues coupled with poor listening skills. Bad listeners rarely profit from the wisdom of their associates.
  • A tendency to display contempt for the ideas of others.
  • A history of emphasizing activity, like hours worked or meetings attended, over accomplishment.
  • A career marked by numerous misunderstandings.
  • A superb ability to compartmentalize and/or rationalize.

So how does somebody who displays contempt for the ideas of others, or somebody whose career is marked by numerous misunderstandings, become a CEO candidate in the first place?

I think this is just a good list in general, a “don’t be this person” list.


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