Career Advice

How To Know If Your CEO Is Doing A Good Job

Is the CEO at your company on your side? Does he or she motivate you to go the proverbial ‘extra mile’ on a project? Does he galvanize winning teams? Do you feel as if you know your CEO, and that he really cares about you and the needs of the organization?

Good CEOs have distinguishing characteristics and behaviors that attract talent and loyalty. How can you determine if your company’s CEO is doing a good job or could be doing better? Read on to discover 10 top qualities of a great CEO.

1. Belief in the Team. Like a good head coach, a strong senior executive shows the team the way to victory. He teaches and trains, imparting knowledge to his leaders that they may freely share with their teams.

2. A Clear Vision. He inspires teams and links objectives to overall corporate goals. His teams are ‘at the table,’ contributing at the same level, bringing diverse levels of experience.

3. A Transparent Work Style. He recognizes that transparency lifts morale. He treats all employees as adults, constantly communicating to help advance goals.

4. Avoids Micromanaging. He knows he can ask good questions and lead folks where they need to go. While individual performance is measured, he also measures teams based on what is best for the company as a whole—he innovates a ‘rising tides lifts all boats’ culture.

5. Personable and Approachable. He is both tough and compassionate and highly respectful of others. He has a personal touch; people are drawn to him. He may even err on being ‘too approachable.’ He makes time for one-on-ones with direct reports; creates leadership roundtables; and hosts employees on-site or through videoconferences to solicit genuine interaction and input. He does all this while remaining extremely goal-centered.

6. Wandering Leadership Style. He stops and talks with the staff, asking them questions and getting to know their work struggles. His employees get a better sense of his perspective while also recognizing leadership’s efforts in helping them solve problems.

7. Loyal and Trustworthy.  He lets his teams know that he understands he would not have been as successful without them. He creates celebrations for success, including taking employees out to commemorate wins.

8. Handles Conflict Head On. He puts problems on the table to prevent ‘avoidance’ and does not let the issues fester. He knows open communications and honesty help move conflict to a collaborative solution.

9. Well-Defined Values. He never compromises his belief system or his ethics. He preaches the same to his staff and invites them to solicit him as a partner to advocate for them in times of ethical dilemma.

10. Encourages Healthy Conversation. When an employee’s ideas or suggestions for improvement are turned down, a good CEO provides ‘why,’ keeping employees engaged and motivated.

An understood and valued employee is more collaborative and willing to work harder for his CEO. This makes for a more successful company in the long run.

If you are currently in a job search and want to know how to look for a good CEO, then read what employees are saying about them. Visit Glassdoor’s reviews; search for the CEO’s LinkedIn profile and read recommendations; Google them for news stories and other links that help construct a story, good or bad. Does what you read fall in line with the behaviors and attributes listed above in this post? Does it match up to the qualities and attributes of Glassdoor’s Top 50 Highest Rated CEOs based on feedback by their own employees?

Dig deep. You will either find stories of corporate success driven by a strong leader or you will uncover dirt that you want to avoid sinking your heels into.

Working for a respected, ethical CEO who values his team while being willing to make the tough decisions makes the challenging times worth it.

Find a company where the CEO and their people share in the success, through thick and thin.