When it comes to leadership, 17% of CEOs are unsuited to the companies they lead, according to research from Imperial College Business School.
The study analysed the behaviour of 1,114 CEOs in Brazil, France, Germany, India, the UK and the US. It found that CEO behaviour can be broken down into two categories: leaders and managers.
While managers focus on undertaking tasks and take a hands-on approach to their job, leaders prioritise high-level functions within an organisation. The research revealed that CEOs whose behaviour constitutes that of a leader generally run companies that are more productive and profitable.
The 17% of CEOs not suited for their firm is largely thanks to the shortage of leader-type CEOs, according to the research.
“The most important message is that there is no one-size-fits-all CEO,” said Stephen Hansen, associate professor of economics at Imperial College Business School and lead researcher on the study. “Modern machine learning methods applied to data on leadership can help identify CEO styles and how they match firm needs.”