Companies Hunt for CEOs with High EQ and Humility

Viewed in The Times of India.

What attributes do companies seek in their most senior executive? The answer to that question is evolving, particularly as companies increasingly see value in several prominent soft skills, including humility, humanity, humor and hope.

The search for these executives reflects a growing recognition that inclusion and consensus-building are key attributes to successful executive leadership.

The Times of India summarizes the findings of Egon Zehnder, the world’s largest privately-held executive search firm, which surveyed 2500 employees with leadership experience, asking them to name the top five characteristics they would associate with a corporate leader.

Egon Zehnder’s findings are consistent with the firm’s more anecdotal findings that companies increasingly are asking search firms “to hunt for leaders who believe in collaboration and are not afraid to admit weaknesses which can be overcome with the requisite talent from team members.”

Egon Zehnder’s survey found five leadership adjectives were most reflective of exceptional leadership: “strategic” (45 percent), ethical (45 percent), humble (43 percent), courageous (32 percent), and persuasive (27 percent).    

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