A CEO Is Only As Good As Their Team, And These Are The Major Traits Business Leaders Look For Most In People

CEOs are only as good as their team, and these are the traits business leaders look for the most

Becoming CEO of a company, whether that’s a large or small company, takes a helluva lot of work. It often takes years of experience and climbing the corporate ladder, hoping that, with a little bit of luck, a brand entrusts her or she to take the reins from the corner office in order to lead the next chapter.

But while being a CEO of a company is a fancy title, the true measure of success often comes from those people one surrounds him/herself with, knowing that responsibilities need to be delegated to talented and trustworthy people. No one individual CEO is going to be capable of knowing everything and doing it all alone, which is why having a strong team at arm’s length is so critical.

It’s not easy figuring out who those people are, but, according to an article from Minutes, there are at least five major traits that one business leader looks for when adding someone in a supportive role. Take a look below at what John Monarch, a three-time CEO himself, said he values the most when it comes to hiring people who, alongside the head honcho at a company, is expected the succeed in a high-pressure leadership position.

CEO’s Look For Resourcefulness

OK, so you’ve got the skills necessary and all the passion in the world, but do you know how to utilize the resources around you? If you’re interested in supporting a CEO like John Monarch, you better know how to, otherwise he doesn’t want to have you around in a leadership role.

Being resourceful means being able to make the most of a company’s resources—no matter the supply. But you have to see this skill in action to effectively gauge it.


When hiring a leadership team, CEOs key in on team members who get the job done regardless of the circumstances and available resources. So if you’re a resourceful person who can solve big problems with limited assistance, you’re in a good position to be considered for a leadership role.

In essence, if you’re looking to become a business leader one day, don’t be one to just identify a problem, but use your resourcefulness without much direction to bring a solution.

The Ability To Help And Teach Others

It’s a boring and cliche saying, but, yes, a business is only as good as the employees who work for it. That means having people in leadership positions who want to see others thrive, helping them grow in their professional careers by helping them learn along the way. It’s why a CEO like Monarch is so keen on this trait when hiring for leadership roles.

The best leaders can take a big, complicated process and put it into simple enough terms that even a new hire can understand. That’s an extremely valuable skill. And in the same vein, a manager’s mindset needs to be about helping those around them—not bossing them around. They should be empowering their team members, not taking a power trip all their own.

From the highest-ranked employee to the most recently hired intern, leaders in a company need to allow others to express themselves, allowing a platform to fail, learn and grow without judgement. It takes a special person to want to teach someone to become better, even if a mistake occurs.

Being Open-Minded

If any employee at a company is guarded or too stubborn to take advice from others, it typically doesn’t mean anyone will be successful. Look, we’ve all got our own opinions and ways of doing things, but being great is about putting ego aside and working together.

That’s why, according to Monarch, having the ability to be open-minded helps him in deciding whether or not a candidate is a good fit to work alongside him in a company.

Much of the time, managers fall into the rut of thinking they have all the answers. So they begin to rely solely on their own ideas as a result. But a good manager involves their entire team during all creative and problem-solving processes. When given the freedom to operate on their own terms, they define those terms alongside their team members.

Leaders who give other employees the ability to speak and contribute creates a culture of collaboration. It shows that everyone is respected and opinions will be heard, which is key to “operate collaboratively, not authoritatively,” as Monarch points out.

Collaboration and willingness to experiment are just some of the main traits a CEO looks for.
Image via Pexels

A Willingness To Experiment

Guess what, guys? Experimenting might result in failing, but, hey, if you don’t fail, you haven’t tried hard enough, right? Lessons are learned through trial and error, not playing it safe all the time and repeating what you already know. That’s why John Monarch says a willingness to experiment is so crucial when considering candidates.

There’s not always a clear path to the solution. Sometimes, you have to experiment. High-potential leaders understand this need and are willing to jump into the weeds to try new approaches and test out unproven ideas.


If a mistake is made once in a while as a result of this approach, that’s okay. Having the desire to experiment, and seeing innovation as a result, is much more important than the occasional slip-up.

Regardless of what industry you work in, experimenting is essential to solving problems and understanding how to efficiently accomplishing goals. How do you think innovation happens? Through experimentation.

Ability To Show Work (And The Process) To The CEO

Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in awhile, so a CEO like John Monarch doesn’t want to know that you got lucky in landing on a process that works well; he wants to know how you got that approach. Think of it like middle school math, when you needed to show your work to the teacher in order to get full credit for coming up with the answer.

In order to fully understand how my teams are operating, I expect managers to communicate not only what they’ve accomplished, but how. I want to know exactly how a plan developed and where resources were allocated—and I expect the flowchart to be well-organized.

A good CEO wants to get into the brains of his or her employees. They want to understand the thought process of those important leaders so that, when necessary, they’re able to offer constructive feedback when presented with something. It also helps when solving problems together as a group, keeping things organized when each employee offers a suggestion.

Being a CEO takes someone who’s bold, who’s unafraid of failing, someone who has thick skin, is strategic and knows how to motivate people even when they don’t hear what they want or expect. And having other leaders nearby who share those qualities and values is important in the overall growth and culture of a company, which is why Monarch lists the above traits as must-haves when looking for candidates to work next to him.

(H/T Ladders)

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