Leadership Transitions: What Sets Successful CEOs Apart?

Whether a person owns its own business or runs a large organization that is part of the Fortune 500, their achievements as a manager or CEO will depend entirely on their effective leadership skills. Without exception, a manager's leadership approach should impact his team's performance and results. In fact, a recent study by revealed that the single most important factor in productivity was employee participation. The study added that the lack of leadership ability to create and maintain worker participation results in the loss of millions of dollars per year.

For this reason, executive education and coaching are the fastest growing industries that cater to the business community. Here are some skills shared by successful leaders.


Transparency consists basically in the practice of honesty within the workplace. It is a sign of integrity. In addition, workers respond positively to a CEO who is willing to lead by example and adopts responsibilities under the same standards that he sets for his team.

Active listening

Many of us have gone through the tortuous experience of attending a focus group of workers or completing difficult surveys in order to improve the organizational culture, only to discover that the company does not take action. It is crucial for the manager to solicit suggestions from his workers to improve morale and working conditions, but more importantly, to act on those problems in a timely manner. This is not to say that the manager will implement all the suggestions, but will formally address the drawbacks and let their workers know what they can do. Otherwise, it only directs attention to the problem but does not show his team any intention to solve it.

Ability to communicate purpose and meaning

It consists of getting the whole team cohesive willing to work on the goals set. To do this, the manager must communicate the long-term objectives avoiding speaking in generic terms. Workers should understand the big picture and also understand specifically how the plan will be carried out and what the role of each will be.


For a CEO, it is common for the details to arrive on a daily basis even before he has his first cup of coffee of the day. Great leaders are able to filter noise and spend 80% of their time on tasks that directly impact the explicit goal that has been determined. It is easy for the manager to be distracted by small emergencies that he considers to be the priority. But reality tells us that it is the big tasks that will determine the direction the manager must take.


Delegation is not only a logistical need but also an unparalleled way of showing respect. A manager, who does not trust the good performance of his staff, generates emotional wear on them, not to mention a palpable tension in the work environment that ultimately results in a total loss of personal responsibility.

When a manager gives responsibilities to his team, he shows how much he believes in their ability to succeed in their roles.

In addition to leadership characteristics, these skills will help a manager improve his or her experience and effectiveness, and hopefully maximize the satisfaction of the workers in his organization. With a proper team and mindset, reaching a thriving business will not be out of reach.

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