The Global CEO mindset – The 5 key qualities of top FTSE and FORTUNE CEOs for stand out performance

Why are the practices of the FTSE and FORTUNE CEOs important in all industries?

The mindset and key qualities of a CEO are essential for any organisation as the barometer of leadership practices within the firm, market confidence and ensure strength in investor and regulator relations. A CEO is called upon to set the focus, values and heartbeat of an organisation. In successful FTSE and FORTUNE  firms the workforce and external stakeholders can often be dispersed both internationally and in perceptions of the firm. These firms are typically well recognised and carry with them an additional onus to enable societal benefit.

Each of these stakeholder groups rely on central communications from the CEO and their leadership team to build understanding of the purpose values and key priorities for the organisation. Their ability to set and deliver on expectations quickly becomes central as it is amazing how quickly the audience senses the tone of communication, the connectivity of conversation determining the confidence in the firm and likelihood to deliver results.

Top quartile performers drive significantly greater returns on investment in a given time period. In this post we’ll identify the 5 key qualities of FTSE and FORTUNE CEOS that enable Top Quartile performance.

There are many requirements of top FTSE and FORTUNE CEOS however there remain 5 key traits that all other requirements pivot from

Visionary Direction – Setting strategy in an audacious, inspirational super connective way that empowers the workforce and engenders the trust of the board, shareholders and investors

Courageous Entrepreneurship – creating customer and client centred relationships on ecosystems with first mover advantage and the ability to be appropriately bold to leverage technology and harness market dynamics to company advantage

Catalyst for Culture – master of enabling creativity and team chemistry in a customer, client value centred way.

Supercoach – the ability to motivate, reward and coach for performance with a relentless focus on the quality of the team.

Results Get Go– Ability to set a performance framework in place that relentlessly turns strategy into executable action in a sensitive, value based and timely way

Looking into the DNA of each of these qualities there are key lessons to learn in distilling the precision with which the successful CEO must deliver on each to drive differential performance 

Visionary Direction

The differentiator in setting strategy for Top CEOs is distilled into the ability to enable the surrounding leadership to understand the marketplace, social and technology trends, the purpose of the business and in how the strategic components leverage the essence of the firm to deliver value to customers and clients whilst working actively with regulators and maintaining the shareholder views in any decisions.

Setting strategy in an audacious yet inspirational super connective way  requires and empowering leadership style that releases and channels workforce potential, yet clearly balanced with the focus on closing actions for delivery of those mutually reinforcing strategic components that are set out to clear timelines with the leadership group.

Courageous Entrepreneurship

Creating customer and client centred relationships on ecosystems, working closely with all stakeholders in the ecosystem requires courageous conversations for shared value requires a particular entrepreneurship only the most attuned CEOs have. The ability to role model Courageous Entrepreneurship in a balanced way creates a natural lift of the firm’s leadership as others look to emulate the strengths of the CEO. There is of course a balance with when to have these courageous conversations, respecting and understanding the heritage of the organisation is an important step in the attunement of when to engage.

Together a careful balance created through the CEO enables technology based companies in particular to leverage the heritage to advantage whilst harness technology trends and market dynamics to company advantage

Catalyst for Culture.

Strategy positions! Culture wins! Therefore CEOs at the helm of high performing firms are often the alchemist in the organisation able to harness the ability of creating the environment for appropriate creativity together with the  team chemistry to unlock customer, client and societal value in a way that delivers shareholder as a consequence. The careful balance and pace setting job of the CEO in this situation requires ongoing attunement and the ability to listen to the ‘whispers in the organisation’ whilst knowing when to create the next cultural shift for performance. The ability to harness the CEO role as a Catalyst for Culture drives differential performance through bringing together the workforce and key stakeholders in a way that releases a stream of potential through enabling a plethora of teams around the organisation – the results come in one by one! Together the path of successes is soon evident as the marketplace notices bottom line results as a simple yet indirect consequence.

Purpose Centred Supercoach

The CEO has access to the most influential minds in the marketplace, regulator relations and of course has the ear of the company workforce that wants to hear about the strategy and how it will be delivered, what’s in it for them and how to engage in relation to the company and personal purpose.

Whilst setting direction the CEO must quickly establish a learning organisation and the ability to coach and be coached in parallel. The ability of the CEO to motivate, reward and coach for performance with a relentless focus on the quality of the team is sometimes viewed as a science though often an art in pace- setting and role modelling for the leadership.

CEOs with a core aptitude to create a super coaching environment within the first 100 days of the job unlock the right conversations within the organisations early in their tenure. A careful balance of super coaching and strategic direction set enables a precision course for the organisation’s workforce and ultimately early market impact.

Relentless Results Get Go

WIth the qualities of Visionary Direction and Courageous Entreprenurship,  coupled with being Catalyst for Culture and Purpose Centred Supercoach there quality of Relentless Results Get Go is essential to create a balanced stream of positive results realease from within the organisation. Many CEOs struggle with the ability to persistently turn strategy in to action. For differential performance CEOs must tap into their ability to instil a performance framework in place that relentlessly turns strategy into executable action in a sensitive, value based and timely way. This is not a negotiable quality, effectively instilling and paying attention to a focused performance framework becomes the regulatory mechanism for the company to ensure action is firmly attuned to the strategic direction set. The engagement approach though which the performance framework is monitored becomes a heartbeat conversation within the organisation and the organisation chord to the CEO that enables the right flow of focus and resource to key areas of the organisation.

Why are CEO qualities so important for stand out performance?

If you are a successful FTSE and FORTUNE CEO, driving standout performance through your personal qualities is at the heart of your organisation’s success.

The importance of leadership by example results in employees emulating the behaviours and key traits both implicitly as the valued norms and as the qualities that they will be rewarded for. All stakeholders groups will be looking to you to set the standard and the pace. This ultimately impacts the customer in created experience, shared value creation and ultimately both shareholder and societal value.

So you are a top FTSE and FORTUNE CEO with all the required qualities, is that enough?

Said simply….  the company is reliant on your purpose centred approach and ability to share your qualities with those around you.

Having the qualities is the base. The ability to permeate these qualities through the organisation and embed the essence of these qualities within the organisation through a combination of super connectivity and quality frameworks is the next secret to success for the standout FTSE, FORTUNE CEO.  More on this in the future – watch this space!

Read more articles

7 Steps to Digitise

The Global CEO mindset –  7 Key steps to digitise a global business Digitization is a global phenomenon that provokes fundamental changes in how companies

Read More »

The Technology Advantage

The Global CEO mindset – The Technology Advantage –  4 ways integrated technology boosts market advantage  All CEOs of technology based companies are faced with

Read More »

The Entrepreneurial Quotient

Boardroom conversations in high-performance FTSE, Fortune 500, and venture-capital-based organizations have shifted.

Yesterday’s good performance is today’s average. Post-pandemic, the impact of business leadership on society is distinguishing the exceptional from the merely good C-suite executives.

The most enlightened senior leaders realize that, irrespective of the size of the business, building entrepreneurship into the DNA of the organization is essential.

Interested in learning more and keeping your leadership skills fit for the future….

The Entrepreneurial Quotient provides a practical guide to executives who want to maintain and grow their edge in the market – blending societal leadership with entrepreneurial skill – and diving into the implications for your leadership style and your business.