If you got to hire your next CEO…

What qualities would you insist on?

The pending election in my home country is stirring up a lot of drama, a steady stream of propaganda, bullying, manipulation and lies.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine shared this thought, “Look at your right to vote as a golden opportunity to help hire the right person…” LPS

He’s got a point. Our election is not a political issue. It is a leadership issue.  …And we get to make the hiring decision!

The person we “hire” will impact our workplaces, our families, our healthcare, our education, our security, how we practice our faith, how we treat each other, how well we relate to and serve other nations, and our future.

Their character matters! The culture of our nation will be shaped by the worst behavior we are willing to tolerate from the person we grant this title to.

World history and neuroscience both emphasize that when we are fueled by fear we are more accepting of authoritarianism and prejudice.

If slavery, concentration camps, and apartheid have ever sickened you and made you wonder how people could treat or even allow other people to be treated like that… We must not allow fear to drive our thoughts, behavior or decisions.

Fear or Wisdom

If you could hire the CEO of a company that you had heavily invested in, you would have a list of qualities that the candidate absolutely must have, and a list of qualities that would be nice to have – before you started interviewing and making decisions.

Have you made those lists?

  • What is not negotiable for you?
  • What do you wish for, that you would be willing to let go of if other qualities were present?

These are my must haves:

Their intention matters: Are they driven to protect and defend this vision:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” …Or are they motivated by pride, power, and position?

Do they bleed red, white and blue? 

Truth matters: If they have a history of dishonesty, lies and manipulation – they can’t be trusted to do anything they say they will or to stand for anything they say they will. Period.

Where there is trust, conflict is nothing but the pursuit of truth or the best possible answer. Without trust, conflict is politics. Trust lays the foundation for healthy conflict.  ~Patrick Lencioni

Wisdom matters: Do they deeply consider all sides of an issue before making a clear stand? Switching positions ONLY if there is new information that alters their perspective. …Or do they flip-flop to please the crowd they are with?

Others matter: Do they seek to listen to, respond to and serve everyone equally? Or do they cater to particular groups and ignore, berate or demonize others?

When we weave the knowledge and strengths of individuals together we will create a more engaged, more creative, more effective whole and amplify the potential of our nation.  ~Chery Gegelman

Humility matters: Do they claim to be the answer to all of our problems? Or do they admit the limits of their humanity, admit that they don’t have all of the answers, and possess the skills to put the right team in place?

Humility leads to strength and not to weakness. It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them. ~John Jay McCloy

It would be like icing on a cake, if we could find someone that fits the description of Jim Collin’s level 5 leader:

An individual who blends extreme personal humility with intense professional will.  It’s not that Level 5 leaders have not ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious – but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, NOT themselves.


What are your thoughts?Please share, what qualities are you looking for in our next CEO?

  • What are your must haves?
  • And what would be icing on the cake for you?


Image credits:  Ace Concierge and pixabay



President, Giana Consulting

Chery Gegelman is an adventurer that loves to learn. ...Deep conversations, books, travel, and daily living are all food for growth.

As a speaker, facilitator and workshop leader she creates energizing environments that reflect God's grace, tear down walls, help people to consider new perspectives, and inspire change.

Chery is the Founder of Giana Consulting and Conversation Safari's, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two leadership books.

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4 thoughts on “If you got to hire your next CEO…

  1. They need to hire the right people and then allow them the freedom to get the job done in the way they choose. The need to get information from the bottom up and then focus on critical areas by involving all key stakeholder. Their personal
    values must be in deep alignment with the companies values or else there will always be too many gaps. I could go on for ever!