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The 5 Types of CEOs and What Motivates Them


To better understand the types of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), we must first understand a few things about them. They are at least one of the following:

  • Very Smart and Dedicated: So much so that they worked their way up a company.
  • Socialize Extremely Well: They can make people feel important when around them. Also great at keeping good social connections.
  • Very Lucky. Nothing can explain luck, except that it must statistically happen to someone.
  • Rich: When hired as CEOs, they have enough wealth to retire. At the very least, they are rich from their hiring bonuses, guaranteed first year or multi-year salaries, and large severance packages (also known as golden parachutes).
  • Born Wealthy: Otherwise, they are born wealthy and grew up believing they could lead because of their class and social connections.

As a result, there are five main types of CEOs that characterize their motivations. Try figuring out what type(s) your company’s CEO has.

  1. Big Risk Takers: Since CEOs are already rich, they can afford to take huge risks with the company. If their risks fail, then losing their job or bankrupting the company does not greatly affect their lives. Otherwise, if their risks are successful in the market place, then they become even richer.
  2. Ego: Being a CEO and filthy rich has a huge impact on the ego of most people. This power trip goes straight to their heads, despite if they deserve it. This skews their capabilities and decisions for their company, sometimes even for the better.
  3. Idiots: It is seldom that an idiot is hired as a CEO, and they typically do not last very long. The most common example is if a company is mostly owned by the founding family, then the stupid offspring of the first successful CEO takes over without earning or proving themselves.
  4. Money: Why should CEOs care about the companies they run? They are already wealthy enough. At the very least, they only care about staying as CEO, thus earning an even more obscene amount of money for as long as possible. A company does not have to be successful for the CEO to be successful.
  5. Nice Guy: The nice guy CEO is a rare breed. These CEOs actually enjoy working and care about the company and their employees.

Now, how do I become CEO of a large multinational conglomerate so that I can enjoy being wealthy.. err.. so that I can determine what type of CEO I would become?

by Phil for Humanity
on 09/25/2007

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