7 Key Traits New CEOs Need

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A CEO has a lot of power of his or her company, but with that power comes an immense amount of responsibility.

Not everyone is cut out for this sort of responsibility, and new CEOs can sometimes be overwhelmed by everything that’s required for their jobs. That’s why some CEOs seem to flounder once they’re in position while others thrive and take their companies to new heights.

To be truly successful, new CEOs typically require certain traits. These traits are often the same sort of traits that one has to have to become a CEO in the first place, but not every CEO has every one of these traits or knows how to use them effectively.

If you’re a CEO or are in line for a leadership position, these are the traits that you should develop to lead your company to the success you desire:

Team Development Skills

If you’re going to lead, you need a team that can get things done.

Unfortunately, a solid team that works well together isn’t always easy to come by. This can be especially problematic if you’re coming into a company as an outside hire, since you won’t know everyone and will have no idea what friction exists within your team.

That’s where team development skills come into play; it doesn’t matter if the team works well at the moment or not, since you can coax it into becoming a well-oiled machine.


There are two types of CEOs: Those who are always looking for someone to blame when things go wrong, and those who start looking for ways they can fix what’s wrong.

If you want to be respected as a CEO, the second type is who you want to be. Hold yourself accountable for the issues that your company faces and lead by example as you strive to make things right.

You should also hold your employees accountable for their mistakes as well, of course, but not to the point that you’re simply pointing your finger because you’ve found someone to blame.


If there’s one thing that a CEO needs it’s consistency in his or her management style.

This is especially true if you’re new to the position, since your employees won’t really know what to expect from you. If your actions aren’t consistent from one situation to the next, both employees and investors might lose faith in your ability to keep the company running profitably.


Of course, just because your actions are consistent doesn’t mean that they have to be rigid.

Trying too hard to hold on to the “way things have always been done” can do more harm than good in some situations. While you should never try to change things just for the sake of change, being able to adapt to new competitors and other changes in the market is important for a CEO.

Finding that balance between honoring what’s come before and adapting to meet challenges that lie ahead is vital to finding your place and making your mark as a new CEO.


Some CEOs are fairly closed-minded when it comes to the ideas of others.

A company isn’t made up of a single person, though, and you may find that others have perspectives that you lack. One of the best traits that a CEO can have is being willing to listen to others and incorporate their ideas into your operations if they seem to benefit the company. This doesn’t mean that you should just blindly follow what others suggest, of course; there’s a big difference between listening to others and evaluating the merit of their ideas and just going along with whatever you’re told.

Employee Recognition

You might be surprised at how many CEOs never really take the time to recognize their employees for the work that they do.

Maybe it’s assumed that lower management will take care of the employees while the CEO takes care of the company. Occasional statements and other forms of recognition (such as bonuses!) can make a huge impact on morale, however. Taking the time to acknowledge the importance of your employees can mean a lot.

Mental Fortitude

There’s a lot of stress involved in management, and even more involved in being the CEO.

If you crack under pressure then you’ll have a hard time getting others to take you seriously as chief executive. You may need to learn some stress-handling techniques if you’re going to make an impact as CEO.


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