What Makes a CEO ‘Exceptional’? From McKinsey & Company

image of exceptional CEONew insight from McKinsey & Company shows that “exceptional” CEOs are twice as likely to have been recruited from outside the company as promoted from within. What makes these CEOs exceptional, and why are externally recruited CEOs better performers?

“Exceptional CEOs are twice as likely to have been hired from outside the company.”

McKinsey & Company assessed the early moves of CEOs with outstanding track records; some valuable lessons for leadership transitions emerged.

New CEOs face enormous challenges as they start assembling a management team and setting a strategic direction in today’s volatile environment. To provide some guidance for transitioning CEOs, McKinsey & Company looked at the experiences of exceptional CEOs—those defined as the very top performers in its data set of roughly 600 chief executives at S&P 500 companies between 2004 and 2014.

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