The Best Mindsets of an Effective Chief Executive Officer

Leadership Advisory

Excellent CEOs probably have one of the hardest jobs to do regardless of how much experience they have.

Top-performing CEOs need to constantly be upgrading their mindset and updating their talent.

High-performing CEOS, therefore, cannot be rigid in how they do things. They may take on responsibilities related to the financial performance of the company, building and maintaining relationships with external stakeholders (such as long-term investors), and the overall health of both the company and employees (including employee reviews). These responsibilities require an adaptable and sensitive mindset that allows for change where it is necessary.

We have highlighted six mindsets that good CEOs often have, or want to master.

Emotive Mindset

Successful Chief Executives have high levels of Emotional Intelligence. They know when to show emotion and when to hold back. They need to understand how they are making employees feel. Good leaders allow their teams to know why they are doing what is being asked, where it fits into the company’s mission, and how it can potentially impact customers and the organization as a whole. It’s important that people understand where they fit into the bigger picture, especially in large companies. A top team feels their position is valued within the business and knows what is expected of them.

Engaged Mindset

The best CEOs value engagement and encourage it by setting an appropriate example. Staying engaged prevents CEOs from developing unrealistic perceptions. Excellent CEOs are approachable, and their employees generally feel like they can speak to the CEO and approach the CEO’s office confidently, no matter their department or level in the organizational design. The CEO may even serve as a bridge between the board, employees, and other stakeholders. It is important that everyone within the company can experience CEOs as human beings and that both the Chief Executive and other executives are not the cause of social issues within the business, but rather set an example for what is expected from the rest of the business in terms of a harmonious work environment.

Performance Mindset

The best CEOs will be concerned with choosing the best talent for their organization at all levels, not only for the top job in the business. Performance management and talent management are extremely important to meet business objectives, and a CEO with a performance mindset places significant focus on this. Smart decisions are made about all elements of the business, including things like the operating rhythm, long-term investing, the year’s budget, etc.

Prosperous Mindset

The best CEO views challenge as an opportunity for growth. In fact, a CEO with a growth mindset will always see adversity as an opportunity. They tend not to focus on what they don’t have, but would rather make strategic moves to try and improve on what they do have. A close and productive relationship with board members comes in handy for this mindset as this supports the CEO’s ability to have meaningful discussions with directors about improving the health of their companies. Additionally, these CEOs set meaningful goals that can have a real impact on their companies.

Decisive Mindset

Top CEOs know when there is a need for tough calls, but they also know how to keep themselves accountable for the outcomes. They make confident decisions with the data that they have. If the decision they have made no longer makes sense after some time has passed, then they make changes to accommodate new requirements. They combine profit with passion to build great businesses.

Transporter Mindset

A successful CEO leads from all angles. They understand the value creation of difference and variety and they know when to change their position on something to best support the right team in their companies. The transporter mindset is multidimensional and includes the following:


Leading from the front is often the obvious position for leaders to take, but it can also be where a CEO gets stuck in a leadership model that focuses too much on front leadership.


This position happens when a CEO keeps evaluating what their surroundings are and then engaging from all sides. The CEO devotes time and effort to employee engagement and values the opinions and of each person that works in the company. They want to focus on serving others.


This CEO wants no one to be left behind. They want to make sure that all employees have what they need to be successful. They want to bring attention to their team rather than themselves, and they take pride in excellent resource allocation and a strong relationship with each individual working with them.


CEOs that lead from the side cheer employees on and give them direction to achieve wild success throughout their careers. They also stop them from wandering too close to the edge. Many leaders lose sight of their staff’s performance, but the risk of this is much less when a CEO leads from the side.

In Closing

We know that research shows the recipe for success in leadership is not universal. When a CEO, and by extension, the board can focus on each of the points highlighted in this article, they may well end up making a positive impact on their company leadership that will push the team towards shared success – and this applies across multiple industries.