Fortune Looks at the Qualities That Make for an MVP CEO


Just as Major League Baseball compiles its annual list of National League and American League All-Stars, Fortune is compiling its list of CEOs to comprise Fortune’s “first Executive Dream Team.”

I’m not sure of the value of an “Executive Dream Team,” but editors and readers like lists. And like the All-Star balloting, readers can vote for the CEOs of their choice. However, the link is embedded in the print edition as a QR code, and voting page was not available by searching for it online; so if you have a BlackBerry, for which QR code scanners are unreliable at best, you probably can’t vote. And if you don’t get the print edition, you probably can’t vote. (Which is why I’m including the URL here.)

According to long-time management reporter Geoff Colvin, there are five “tasks that star CEOs of tomorrow will need to do extraordinarily well. While I don’t disagree with Colvin’s choices, I think some of those tasks are more important than others and that there are a bunch he left out.  Here are some from his list I agree with:

  • Understand global business in their bones.
  • Change strategies and business models more than before. I think this is very important.
  • Identify and manage risks before they become disasters. Also very important.

But that list is not complete. There are other qualities, too, that an Executive Dream Team should have, especially when considering the executives (see below) on Fortune’s ballet. Qualities such as:

  • Understanding how to execute.
  • Providing leadership.
  • Taking care of employees, including training and succession planning.
  • Fostering innovation. You can’t update your business model if your organization isn’t innovating.
  • Being able to work with board members and customers — different selling skills, but both are important.
  • Understanding marketing.
  • Anticipating trends that will drive sales.

Which CEO would be on your Dream Team?

  • J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon
  • Apple’s Steve Jobs
  • McDonald’s Jim Skinner
  • IBM’s Sam Palmisano
  • PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi
  • IBM’s Sam Palmisano

What other qualities did Fortune overlook? Or that we missed? Let us know.

Tagged: , ,

Related Posts