Negative Leadership Traits Can Derail CEO Career Paths

By David Kiger

When it comes to leadership traits among CEOs, there are universal strengths, like good communication skills, honesty, inclusiveness, respecting others and having a strong work ethic.

Just as those qualities can help a CEO’s path to success, other elements can derail it. No one wants to work for a “bad boss.” So here’s a look at several traits that can be loathed by employees, and that can be detrimental to the business and the CEO’s career.

Misplaced focus

Having a CEO that takes an interest in all areas of the business is a good thing. What they do with that interest can be another story. Staying focused on steering the ship is essential, so it’s important to not get lost in the details. In a story for Small Business Trends, Dave Lavinsky explores how a CEO should be focused on the larger picture.

“Corporate CEOs stay very busy developing the vision of the business and building the right strategies and relationships to realize that vision,” he explains. “They are very rarely involved with the actual production or sale of the product or service provided by the company. They are captains at the helm of their business. They can do this because they have a team that runs the business. The best leaders have faith in everyone that has been selected to complete other tasks. While I can’t say that you should be oblivious to what goes on in the front lines of your business, I can tell you that if you are too involved in the front lines, you will never grow your business effectively. The key is to build your business, not just run it.”


It’s not hard to see how positivity can benefit a CEO, from having a good attitude about the business to lightening the mood in the office. There are those that take the pessimistic point of view, and that can lead them down a troublesome road. Joel Trammell explores the perils of pessimism on, citing research from Duke University that showed CEOs “have a more optimistic outlook on their businesses and, more broadly, on life than the general population.” Trammell explores the other side of that coin, using a gloomy Winnie-the-Pooh character to illustrate his point.

“… There are plenty of CEOs who take a distinctly glass-half-empty view of their companies and the world,” he writes. “I should know: I was one early in my career. I was what I call the ‘Eeyore CEO’ in my book, The CEO Tightrope. If you told me you had a great sales prospect, I’d say, ‘Show me the order.’ Show me the order, and I’d say, ‘Let’s not celebrate until we get the check.’ Show me the check, and I’d say, ‘We knew that was coming. What does the pipeline for next month look like?’ … The Eeyore CEO fails in the role of chief inspirer. He’s like a heat-seeking missile for negativity. No one is inspired to work for this kind of leader, especially when the waters get choppy.”

Overdone optimism Go to the full article.

Source:: Business2Community