Saturday, August 24, 2013

On Becoming A Good (Near-Perfect) CEO

CEO is an abbreviation for Chief Executive Officer and according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, New 8th Edition (2010), he is the person with the highest rank in a business company. For purpose of this article, the description of “he” covers both man and woman.

In order for him to be a good CEO, he is the person who is worth listening to, worth believing & worth to be followed. In addition, he should demonstrate the following virtues: a leadership attitude; leadership skills; and a leadership image.  

Let us go a bit further to elaborate on what entails the above scenarios.


He should make time to pay attention to what the people in his group have to say. Listening to them is one way to keep their morale up, which is one of the success factors in business. Productivity normally goes down when the staff morale is low.

It must be remembered that a rigid person will turn the people away from him. We call this situation as avoidance. Flexibility and listening without prejudice are some of the ways in gaining the confidence of those under his care.


In simple words, he does what he preaches. It is as simple as that, nothing more and nothing less. He tells the truth and shares important information with his people, except those of company’s confidential matters. If you believe in your CEO, certainly it is worthwhile for you to follow him.

This type of person smiles a lot, allows his staff to make genuine mistakes and respect his people’s religious beliefs / faith.

                 A good CEO is a person worth believing and worth to be followed


He is good in terms of interpersonal skills, for he believes in seeking mutual benefit when interacting with his workforce. He shows respect and appreciation to his people and likes to create a “win-win” situation at his workplace.

He dares to take calculated risks, after consultations with his subordinates, whenever a business situation requires him to decide and execute. He looks at his staff as a whole person, not just the end of the year performance appraisal.  


Different writers and authors will list down the leadership skills as either quite similar or different from one another. Here, two examples – communication skill and negotiation skill, will suffice to illustrate the point.

Communication skill

When a staff gives an idea, either during a meeting or face-to-face discussion, a good CEO will say: “That’s a good idea, we can try it here”; rather than saying, “It won’t work in this company”, thus demoralizing the staff.

Therefore, it is safe to say that good communication skill is one of the building blocks of being an effective leader. 

Negotiation skill

It is a general understanding in business environment that in any negotiation, the parties involved should come to the negotiation table with an open mind. Do not be too rigid such that nothing can be accomplished. A good negotiation exercise will end with all the parties involved thinking that they’ve the bigger slice of the cake.

If the above skills – communication and negotiation are mastered properly, the other leadership skills will just follow, sooner or later. 


A good CEO exhibits a clean personal image and a good family man. He is not involved in any sort of perceived corrupted practices or is ever linked to any scandal. He is the person whom you can trust.

We do not have to attend specific human relations courses at Cambridge or Harvard just to recognize that a good CEO must exhibit a clean image in order for him to lead his people and organization. 

17 Syawal 1434H


  1. Salam.

    Memang sukar menjadi pemimpin yang sempurna (hampir sempurna pun sukar), apa lagi tanggungjawab yang diamanahkan ke bahunya! Walaupun begitu ramai yg berebut2 mahu jadi pemimpin dek kerana pelbagai kemudahan yang berserta dengannya hinggakan mereka lupa terus akan amanah dan tanggungjawab yang bakal disoal jawab pada hari pengadilan nanti!!

  2. Betul komen yang di utarakan itu, Ummu Madihah. Saya teringat akan satu penerangan dalam salah satu majlis ilmu - seorang sahabat Nabi s.a.w. meminta sesuatu jawatan dari baginda. Baginda menjawab bahawa dia tidak sesuai untuk memegang jawatan (sudah tentu Nabi mengenalinya dengan mendalam). Nabi bimbang sahabatnya itu tidak dapat memikul tanggung jawab.

    Bagi seorang pemimpin yang beramanah, percakapan dan perbuatannya adalah sesuatu yang BOLEH di percayai.

    Terima kasih, Ummu Madihah di atas komen yang sangat baik.

    Kamaruddin Hassan