WORKPLACE / FEB. 18, 2014
version 8, draft 8

The 7 Types of CEOs and How to Influence Each of Them

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1. Commercial Executor
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This is a type of CEO whose mission is driven by achieving best results in their area or industry. A commercial executor persistently focuses on every single detail to ensure operational and strategic objectives are attained. An example of this is Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric and Chairman of Jack Welch Management Institute. Being a CEO at GE for more than two decades, Welch managed to increase its revenues from $25 billion to $130 billion. His leadership turned GE into one of the most profitable and efficient firms in the industry. Welch was dubbed Manager of the Century by Fortune in 1999. How to influence ‘commercial executors’: Communicate plans based on impact on Key Performance Indicators in their execution system and show you are determined to deliver.

Undoubtedly, many people hold CEOs in awe. Frankly speaking, being a CEO is a tough job accompanied by high expectations, lot’s of stakeholders to manage, great time pressure as well as vital decisions to make. All these imply a chaotic lifestyle with nonstop meetings and trips.  The truth is that although CEOs enjoy a high-profile standing, not all of them are omnipotent. CEOs are essentially motivated differently; they have different strengths and weaknesses and they value different things.  

The key to add value to a CEO is to first figure out which type of CEO you are dealing with and tailor your communication strategy accordingly.

Steve Tappin, Host of BBC CEO Guru and CEO of Xinfu has interviewed and coached numerous CEOs and learned that in the Western world, there are 7 main types of CEO. I outline below the CEO types as well as the best ways on how to influence and connect with them. 

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