Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
  1. Quick decision making: Decision making requires information. However, barely do CEOs get the wholly required information to make a good decision.  A good CEO is expected to still make a good decision with 60% – 70%.  According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon, he has had to make decisions with partial information and as low as 50% of required information.  A CEO who waits till they get 90% of required information may have been moving rather too slowly and may be endangering the business of its dynamic survival.  Such CEOs may leave their organisations behind in this super-speed world.  CEOs who made quick decisions that became a blowout may even be considered better because they have been tested. Kodaks and Nokia were caught in this.  Kodaks was the first to do online photo sharing but now we know Instagram & Facebook. Blockbuster could have bought Netflix for single digit millions. To make this make happen and minimizing the effects of risk in quick decision making, CEOs should surround themselves with people who could help in making those quick decisions. A slow making CEO keeps the whole organisation slow and very few people can run faster than CEO.
  2. Adaptability: Here defined as the ability to turn around when things don’t go well as expected. What makes a leader fit for today’s highly unpredictable world is that skill to navigate unexpected business disruptions.  It may involve just pulling the jigs to merely stay afloat and engineering a turnaround eventually.
  3. Keeping stakeholders around: The CEO should be a black belt in managing their own emotions as they may keep moving human engagement to another of high and lows. Converting customers to partners and employees to vision drivers can happen with a CEO who is adept at managing their own emotions as well as others.
  4. Reliability delivers results. Consistency in delivery is known to build a certain level of confidence and brings results. This can be achieved with a good team around who can help the CEO to achieve this consistently and reliability.
  5. Ability to make use of history: One of the most under-used commodities in the world is mining mistakes. Past mistakes should always be mined to help make future decisions.  A good CEO is one who is able to well interpret history not to be stuck to it, but to mine lessons to move forward.  Making mistakes is itself not bad, but the ability to learn from it is key.  Very good Boards in hiring CEOs have looked for CEOs who have been tested, who have made mistakes and who managed to wriggle out for the better.

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