CEO’s personality critical in troubled times

It is often said the success of a company hinges not only on its leader's business acumen, but also on his or her personality.

According to one management expert, this is especially pertinent when a company is going through a rough patch.

Michael Fingland, managing director of Vantage Performance, said the majority of companies that fail to navigate their way out of turbulent waters do so simply because they ask for help too late. Most of the time, this is down to the personality of the person in charge.

Vantage Performance conducted a survey of the bankers, lawyers and accountants who refer troubled clients and found that a business leader's inflated sense of self-belief can cause them to avoid calling for help when needed.

A total of 73 per cent of respondents felt an excess of self-belief was the reason behind CEOs not asking for timely help, while 68 per cent agreed that pride and ego were also big barriers.

Denial and delusion were also factors stopping CEOs from seeking assistance, with 68 per cent of respondents saying a business leader in denial could prove fatal for the organisation.

“On the positive side, a CEO who seeks specialist help early, communicates clearly with his or her people and stakeholders, and is willing to take the hard decisions, is much more likely to maintain the support of their stakeholders and stabilise their business,” Mr Fingland added.

While a CEO's business expertise and skills are crucial for success, there is no doubt that other factors such as personality play a huge role as well. That is why any company looking for its next high potential leadership candidates should use personality assessments to gauge the overall individual.