Magazine article HRMagazine

Why CHROs Could Excel as CEOs

Magazine article HRMagazine

Why CHROs Could Excel as CEOs

Article excerpt

High-performing CEOs have more in common with high-performing CHROs than they do with most other high-level executives, including chief financial officers, chief marketing officers and chief information officers, according to recent research by recruiting consultancy Korn Ferry and the University of Michigan.

"I don't think anybody would have expected that," says Dave Ulrich, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business who worked with Korn Ferry on the study.

But perhaps they should have: CEOs today are expected to have more than just good operational skills and financial acumen. People skills are critically important as well. After all, a CEO is tasked with creating both a corporate identity that will resonate with customers as well as a corporate culture that will attract top talent to join-and stay at-the company.

The researchers compared 14 attributes, or aspects of leadership, that fell into three categories: leadership style, thinking style and emotional competencies. They drew on Korn Ferry's database of thousands of executives' self-assessments conducted over several decades.

To pinpoint high-performing executives, the researchers studied only the toppaid 10 percent of leaders in each senior executive role, including 2,150 CEOs and 694 CHROs.

Chief operating officers (COOs) were also found to have traits similar to those of CEOs-a finding that did not surprise the researchers because the roles are so similar.

It is clear that CHROs are cut from the same cloth as CEOs and COOs," states the report, CEOs and CHROs: Crucial Allies and Potential Successors.

The similarities show that CHROs can be critical allies for CEOs, says Ellie Filler, a managing partner with Korn Ferry who leads the Human Resources Center of Expertise for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The CHRO's role is to help the CEO by ensuring that the organization has the right talent, structure and culture to achieve its goals. …

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