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The Leadership Qualities of the Future CEO


Meet the CEOs of Tomorrow’s America’s College Students

Over 2400 students who are aspiring for the office of the CEO were surveyed in this exercise with respondents from over 499 schools in 45 of the 50 states in the US. The intention was to determine the characteristics they felt were important to becoming a CEO and what they felt was required to lead a modern company.


From the sampled students, 48% believed a CEO should have a graduate degree, 20% feel an Undergraduate degree is sufficient, and 3% feel a high school diploma is sufficient. While 29% say the level of education for a CEO is irrelevant.

But when the question of characteristics a CEO should pose, education scored the least points. 40% said a passion was required, 29% said experience in leadership while 14% admitted to the requirement of people skills. 8% said there was a need for an industry experience, 6% admitted to the need for intelligence while 3% said education was not necessary.

The findings is a pointer to how the present generation value experience and the need to go beyond just having a degree. They rank education much lower, nevertheless, they feel it is important to complete the education.

From the sampled population, 27% prefer to complete their education, over 50% prefer to go to school and run a business while 20% would drop out of school to start a business. Although some believe education is not important, these statistics reveal what it is still prevalent.

Entrepreneurial Experience

With respect to students aspiring to be a CEO, what is the relevance of experience? About 57% of the sampled population agree that starting a new company is necessary to a successful CEOs life, 18% has already started their own companies. Some of the students have already started working in established firms to gain experience. In all, almost 60% plan to work for an existing company while 41% plan to start their own companies.

Leadership and Management

Today, future leaders demonstrate a shift towards creativity as opposed to traditional methods. This was demonstrated by 63% of them when they preferred to join Steve Jobs team. According to Vineet Nayar, Millennials are seldom interested in hierarchy and they are not interest in positions either. From the survey, about 40% felt the titles were necessary, 36% felt it needed to be changed despite the necessity while 25% would create a new system. It was also discovered that 72% of the population are open to allow employees to work from home. With respect to dress code, about 75% preferred the casual dress code.

Some contemporary titles being held are:
• Kodak and Dell Appointed Chief Listeners.
• Facebook recently appointed Chief Privacy Officers.
• Coca Cola appointed a scientific and regulatory Officer.
• Microsoft has a Chief People Officer.
• Fab has a Chief European Officer.

Social Media

Future CEOs are likely to be more social than today’s CEOs. The survey revealed that as compared to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, 73% of students use Facebook are compared to 7.6% of CEOs. LinkedIn is used by 57% of students and 25.9% of the CEOs. Twitter is used by 55% of students and 3.8% of CEOs while 50% of students has their own blogs as compared to 0.2% of Fortune 500 company CEOs.

Top Priorities

With respect to primary concerns, 54% of interested globalization, 53% had interest in IT security, 48% were inclined towards corporate social responsibility and 47% were interested in mobile technology. 44% had interest in social media, 38% looked at talent retention, 37% increase costs and taxation, and 35% were interested in data storage while 18% were interested in the cloud.

From the findings, it can be concluded that change is inevitable as far as the future office of the CEO is concerned. These will be connected with more technological focus, more employee freedom and more global considerations with respect to making decisions.

About The Author
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