Recommendations on the Characteristics of a Transformational and High-Performance CEO
You are the retiring CEO of a very successful business. You plan to leave your current position within one year. As a result, you have developed a 7-page briefing document that will persuade the Board to hire a new CEO who is a high-performance manager. Using the assignment is to persuade the Board to hire a high-performance manager. In other words, you must figure out and explain to the Board why it is so important for the Board to hire someone who possesses the characteristics of a high-performance manager. Your briefing document should contain recommendations based on the most important characteristics of a transformational or high-performance manager. Your document must contain specific examples to support your recommendations. Your briefing document should be well organized, rigorously objective, and faithful to the evidence about high performance and transformational leaders. Your document must be succinct and clearly written.
Be sure to use citations to the readings to support your arguments for each of the characteristics that you feel are important for the CEO as a high-performance manager to possess to lead the company to success.
Recommendations on the Characteristics of a Transformational and High-Performance CEO
In the modern world of business, the selection of senior managers and chief-executive officers or CEOs is an involving and essential process that requires strategy and wisdom. The human resource management department in collaboration with the company’s board are tasked with the mandate of the recruitment of a CEO to an organization. Indeed, due to the sensitivity of the CEO’s role to the future and continuity of a company, the entity may involve the services of top-ranking management and human resource consulting firms such as Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) to facilitate the process of hiring a new CEO (Antonakis & Day, 2018). The CEO of a company holds the highest position within the entity and makes high-level decisions regarding the executive responsibilities in the company. The CEO works hand-in-hand with the senior executives from various departments such as, human resource, finance, marketing and public relations, research and development, strategic communications, and CSR (corporate-social-responsibility (Manzoor et al., 2019). Therefore, the position of a CEO demands that candidates who take up the role must possess high-level skills and must demonstrate crucial behavioral, management, and leadership traits (Antonakis & Day, 2018). Therefore, an analytical review of the fundamental characteristics and traits of high-performance and transformational managers as the basis of the recommendations to the company’s board on the traits of a high-performance chief-executive-officer or CEO forms the foundation of the discussion.
Excellent Communicator and Active Listener
A high-performance CEO must demonstrate strong communication and active-listening skills that help the CEO to relate productively with the employees, customers, shareholders, and government. At first, a CEO must possess the ability to communicate the vision of the entity to the executive managers and the employees (Antonakis & Day, 2018). In this way, the CEO defines the crucial goals that every employee and department within the organization should focus on for the purpose of driving growth and profitability in the company. Further, a CEO should demonstrate capacity to communicate effectively with clarity and transparency on the expectations of the employees and departmental heads in meeting the objectives of the enterprise while streamlining their operations to align to the organizational vision (Pellegrini et al., 2020). Undoubtedly, the CEO of the company should inspire the employees in the organization through demonstrating direct and effective communication on the rewards and benefits that the employees will receive once they exhibit high-level performance by meeting their targets and displaying a proper organizational culture defined by excellence, hard-work, and teamwork spirit (Drucker, 2017). For instance, a CEO can communicate effectively to the employees on a new reward scheme for high-performing employees whereby the top-performers who meet their annual sales target will be flown to their favorite destination for a fully paid 2-week holiday with their family. Hence, employees will be highly motivated by the succinct and precise communication by the CEO, thus attaining fast growth and high-performance in the business organization.
As a top executive in the organization, a CEO should demonstrate charismatic and transformational leadership through active listening by providing a favorable environment for the collection of views, opinions, and perspectives of the employees, whether from senior or subordinate levels (Antonakis & Day, 2018). A CEO needs to pay attention, by actively listening to the ideas raised by employees and fellow executive managers. Many transformational ideas and innovative business concepts have been developed by employees in organizations. For instance, an employee serving in the marketing and sales department can suggest an idea about the need for the business entity to venture into a new market based on his or her experiences in the course of marketing the company’s products (Antonakis & Day, 2018). As such, the organization can significantly increase its sales revenue through opening operations at the new market thus recording high-performance in the business organization (Ribeiro et al., 2018). Therefore, the active-listening skill is a powerful characteristic that should be possessed by high-performance chief-executive-officers.
Expresses Value for Teamwork and Embraces Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
A CEO should promote and develop the culture of teamwork in the business organization while appreciating the essence of diversity, inclusion, and equity. CEOs understand the immense contribution made by the element of teamwork at the workplace. When employees work in teams, they attain high productivity by ensuring that each member in the team is focused on the set objectives and strives to achieve the goals set out by the team leader (Antonakis & Day, 2018). A transformational CEO promotes the culture of teamwork by inspiring the employees and instilling confidence in them about their potential and capacity to deliver on the organizational objectives and strategic goals of the entity. In this regard, a high-performing CEO should demonstrate the ability to identify competencies and strengths among the employees (Delene, 2021). Further, in the advancement of the agenda on teamwork, a transformational CEO should display capacity to monitor and evaluate the performance of the employees in their teams within the organization. As such, the measurement of outcomes from the employees helps in the implementation of the reward schemes for the employees that enhance their motivation at the workplace (Manzoor et al., 2019). Agreeably, a CEO should be in a position to communicate with clarity on the feedback to the employees whereby the high-performing employees are encouraged to maintain the outstanding performance whereas the low-performing employees are challenged to put more effort in their execution of tasks in their respective teams (Manzoor et al., 2019). A transformational and high-performance CEO bears in mind that the teamwork approach has multiple advantages such as, increased innovation and creativity among the employees and enhanced performance within the departments of the business organization.
A CEO should show appreciation for the elements of diversity, inclusion, and equity among the employees based on the multiple benefits that flow from a culturally diverse workforce. A multi-ethnic workforce breeds diverse ideas and concepts that contribute to increased productivity and enhanced teamwork (Delene, 2021). For instance, a high-performance CEO of an American company should understand that having a multi-racial and multi-cultural workforce promotes the outcomes of performance from the employees (Antonakis & Day, 2018). For examples, employees from particular cultures have high-levels of creativity whereas others have a degree of trust and loyalty; thus, when the CEO combines these multi-cultural potentials, then the organization experiences high growth and the increased performance is realized (Delene, 2021). Further, a transformational CEO establishes workplace policies and regulations that foster good intercultural relations among the employees from diverse backgrounds. In this case, the employees from minority cultural groups feel that they are comfortable working in the organization without the fear of rejection or prejudice (Ribeiro et al., 2018). The matters of inclusion and equity are essential in the promotion of growth and performance in the organization. A successful CEO with a record of high performance understands the need for gender and racial equity in the workplace; for instance, the inclusion of women in the executive roles of the entity helps to attain gender parity in the organization and the process of decision-making becomes efficient due to the diverse ideas presented within the board (Antonakis & Day, 2018). Therefore, a transformational CEO embraces the aspects of inclusion, diversity, and equity and harnesses their potential to the advantage of the organization.
Ability to make Quick and Well-thought Decisions
A transformational and high-performance CEO demonstrates the capacity to make well-thought and quick decisions aimed at promoting growth and profitability of the entity. Indeed, the CEO of an organizations must display the ability to make prompt but well-thought decisions that are geared towards the daily operations of the organization whereas other decisions focus on the strategic objectives of the company (Manzoor et al., 2019). A CEO must consult with the executive management team before delivering landmark changes in the policies and regulations concerning the operations of the organizations. In this case, the process of adapting to these new policies introduced by the CEO becomes smooth due to the goodwill of the executive managers in driving the agenda of the CEO in promoting overall growth and profitability of the enterprise (Ribeiro et al., 2018). Further, a high-performance CEO must design and implement a culture of participative decision-making whereby the subordinates or the low-ranking employees are given an opportunity to contribute to matters of policy and decision-making process through sharing their opinions and perspectives (Manzoor et al., 2019). As such, the transformational CEO knows that the employees’ sense of self-esteem increases and their attitude towards the organization changes and inclines to positivity. Further, a high-performance CEO comprehends that participative decision-making increases the productivity of the employees and boost their morale and enhances their loyalty to the organization (Ribeiro et al., 2018). In this regard, through the CEO’s ability to make well-thought and quick decisions, the level of performance increases significantly thus promoting organizational growth and profitability.
Highly Motivated with a Positive-Mindset
A high-performance CEO displays high motivation for work through increased energy and focus whilst showing inclination to a positive mindset. Indeed, individuals who are highly motivated have a high probability of attaining goals and targets thus the realization of high performance is realistic. An entity must consider the aspect of high motivation when hiring a CEO based on the understanding that the employees in the company as well as the executive team draw their inspiration and motivation for work from the CEO (Antonakis & Day, 2018). One of the dominant attributes of a highly-motivated CEO is the aspect of a positive mindset whereby the individual’s outlook to the issues of life and work and career in general are premised on a positive mental attitude. Sometimes the business environment is usually turbulent and the company goes through a challenging moment defined by low sales and decline in profitability and productivity (Antonakis & Day, 2018). In this regard, a high-performance CEO must drive the agenda of the organization and steer the company forward in spite of the tough business environment. The board and the recruitment panel must come to the realization that a high-performance CEO must demonstrates the ability to motivate and inspire the employees towards the attainment of impressive outcomes in terms of productivity and increased performed (Manzoor et al., 2019). The transformational CEO displays capacity to encourage the employees in that the company will overcome the challenges. Thus, the organization progresses well based on the positive mindset of the CEO. In essence, the attribute of high motivation and a positive mental-attitude are key qualities for consideration in the appointment of the CEO.
High Adaptability and Willingness to Embrace Risk
A transformational CEO must show high adaptability to the ever-changing business and socio-economic environments. Further, the CEO must have willingness to take business risks that are well-calculated. The aspect of change is an important concern in the world of business and the CEO’s capacity to steer the business successfully in spite of the changing business environment (Antonakis & Day, 2018). For instance, in the banking sector, the Federal Reserve or the Federal Government may introduce new rules and policies that may interfere with the operations of the entity; therefore, the CEO must be keen to make quick adjustments that will help the bank to navigate successfully through the new environment. Undoubtedly, the factor of risk-taking is an important attribute to the job of a chief-executive officer based on the view that new ventures always introduce new risks to the enterprise (Antonakis & Day, 2018). The launch of a new product or the entry to a new market is a risky affair for the enterprise since it presents new spectrum to the enterprise (Delene, 2021). In this case, a high-performance CEO is quick to analyze the business dynamics and the risk-profiles of the new ventures thus guaranteeing an increased chance for new profits.
The analytical review of the fundamental characteristics and attributes of high-performance and transformational managers as the foundation of the recommendations to the company’s board on the traits of a high-performance chief-executive-officer or CEO has been effective in the discussion. A transformational CEO must demonstrate strong communication and active-listening skills that help the CEO to relate appropriately with the employees, customers, shareholders, and stakeholders. Indeed, a high-performance CEO should promote and nurture the culture of teamwork in the business organization while appreciating the essence of diversity, inclusion, and equity among the employees. Further, a high-performance CEO demonstrates the capacity to make well-thought and quick decisions aimed at boosting growth and profitability of the company. Certainly, a transformational CEO must show high level of adaptability to the ever-changing business and socio-economic environments whilst displaying the willingness to take business risks that are well-calculated.
Antonakis, J., & Day, D. V. (2018). The Nature of Leadership. Sage Publications.
Delene, L. M. (2021). Disruptions and Executive Leadership Values. The COVID-19 Crisis and Racial Justice & Equity: Addressing the Twin Pandemics, 36(1), 18.
Drucker, P. F. (2017). What makes an effective executive (Harvard Business Review Classics). Harvard Business Review Press.
Manzoor, F., Wei, L., Nurunnabi, M., Subhan, Q. A., Shah, S. I. A., & Fallatah, S. (2019). The impact of transformational leadership on job performance and CSR as mediator in SMEs. Sustainability, 11(2), 436.
Pellegrini, M. M., Ciampi, F., Marzi, G., & Orlando, B. (2020). The relationship between knowledge management and leadership: Mapping the field and providing future research avenues. Journal of Knowledge Management.
Ribeiro, N., Yücel, İ., & Gomes, D. (2018). How transformational leadership predicts employees’ affective commitment and performance. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management.
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