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The CEO selection criteria

The CEO selection criteria

CEO selection-4Very few organizations actually work on the CEO selection strategy while making a choice. If you question the management on the CEO selection criteria, they will tell you that they want the CEO to an able dynamic leader, who can drive the organization towards it set targets. He should have good administrative control and technical knowledge to manage the operations of the company. It is a kind of an idealist thinking and you may not find a person who fits into all the desired characteristics.

CEO selection-5Resolve management issues: A colleague of mine holding the CEO position at the age of 45 told me a guarded secret. He said that you have to gauge the problem that the management is facing and take the onus of resolving it on your head. Strengthen your creditability by actually resolving the problem on top priority. This will help you to develop the respect in the eyes of the owners and you will become the focus of the CEO selection process.

CEO selection-3Educate and show direction: Another acquaintance of mine became the CEO of the company at the young age of 32. I asked him in what way he had become the centre of attraction for the CEO selection committee. His answer really took me by surprise. He told me that the management hardly knows anything and you have to tell them what to do. Look for the opportune moment and make the killing. I asked him was he successful every time? He said no, and indicated that the success rate was around 40%. But he always made the management realise the missed opportunity at an appropriate time.

CEO selection-1Loyalty consideration: I also had the chance to question a few managements on the subject of CEO selection strategy. I was taken aback by the commonality in the approach on some typical aspects. For example, in the year 2014-15, they were looking for people who had spent a good 20 to 25 years in one organization. The reason behind the drive was that such persons are stable, loyal and concentrate on their work. They realised their mistake very soon as the selected person were quite rigid with limited exposure.

CEO selection-2Age factor: The current trend for the CEO selection process targets the people in the 40-45 age groups. The explanation is that the youngsters possess a good amount of energy and can effectively run around and do multitasking as well. How long will this trend continue in the market is difficult to say? However, I am sure that they will find something new before the end of 2015-16. There is another myth that the CEO selection committee follows is that the CEO must come from another company and the people who have grown with the company are not right to fill the post.

CEO selectionHow to tackle the CEO selection process? You have seen the responses from the actual CEOs and the managements. You may be a bit confused as to which path to follow for the CEO selection strategy? The foremost requirement is that of self-belief to handle this position. You have to be a visionary to choose the right direction for the business and take the management in your stride. The CEO selection criteria hover around strong communication skill coupled with the ability to take people along with you in your endeavour. Even if some of these traits are missing you can easily acquire them through the skill development programs. It is a mantra for success.CEO selection-6

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The author is a veteran of the Indian automobile industry having spent more than 30 years there. The articles are based on the experience and learnings gathered during the course of his career. The writing is also interspersed with the advances and change ideas influencing the careers of the people.


  1. This is a very good article for all the people who want to rise to the position of CEOs in the companies where they work. Some of the points are in your control but some may not be like your age. However, with Narendra Modi showing the immense potential at the age of 65, this criterion is going to take a back seat very soon.

  2. I have been reading the articles on the CEO selection process and finding some impractical advice in them. This article has some real life experiences in it and appears to be authentic. I have also noticed some similar traits in the management of the company where I work. Thanks for bringing out the facts. I have changed my name for obvious reasons.

  3. A more rigorous, inclusive, and ongoing succession process builds the board’s ability to work with the CEO and fosters strong relationships between the board and the management team. —A.G.L.

  4. Still trying too learn to get as good shots as these.

  5. Wow this is an excellent article for all those aspiring CEOs who do not find the right advice. I have been looking at your bio and it seems that the advice has stemmed from actual experience. Thanks for making it public.

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