CEO Effectiveness Survey

Why conduct a CEO Effectiveness Survey?

One of the most important functions of a board is to select, appoint, remunerate, develop, encourage, challenge and performance manage their CEO. Doing those functions well can make all the difference to an organisation’s success.

Many behavioural and other assessment tools can help CEOs understand their personality types and predispositions in certain areas. There are very few designed specifically around what makes a CEO effective, so we developed a CEO Effectiveness Survey specifically for CEOs.

The CEO Effectiveness Survey and the resulting CEO Effectiveness Report will help:

  • Your CEO to understand the main gaps between their perspectives of their effectiveness and the perceptions of the board and their direct reports. This will help your CEO become more self-aware of such matters and to develop change strategies accordingly
  • Your board become aligned around what the most important CEO attributes at the current stage of the organisation’s lifecycle are and will help the CEO magnify their strengths in those areas accordingly
  • Get the board aligned around the main areas of development for the CEO, and in conjunction with the CEO, build an appropriate development plan.

Our CEO Effectiveness Framework

Our CEO Effectiveness Framework has been developed based on the four distinct areas in which a CEO must be effective – Personal Attributes, Leadership, Direction, Strategy and Planning and Execution.

CEO Effectiveness Framework - Board Benchmarking

Our CEO Attribute Ranking Survey

Whilst we have identified 36 attributes of a great CEO, not all CEO attributes should be ranked equally. Further, some attributes will be more important and some less important at different stages of an organisation’s journey. For example, an organisation in the start-up or early growth phase will need a CEO with different attributes than one that is going through significant change, in consolidation or in a more mature phase.

To help directors get on the same page as to what are the most important attributes for their CEO – either to help them focus on the development of their current CEO or as a prelude to planning for CEO succession – we have developed a CEO Attribute Ranking Survey. The survey forces directors and/or direct reports to form a view on what the most important attributes of a CEO are for their organisation by rating such attributes with a 1, 2 or 3. Of their 36 ratings, they must use 12 ratings of 1, 12 of 2 and 12 of 3, where 1 = lowest importance, 2 = medium importance and 3 = highest importance.

Boards use the resulting CEO Attribute Ranking Report to build alignment as to the most important attributes of their CEO. They find that their discussion and debate about the main areas of difference in views of the desired CEO attributes is where lots of the value lies.

The ranking of the CEO Attributes also enables the calibration of the importance of each CEO attribute and adds great value to the CEO Effectiveness Report that is completed following the completion of a CEO Effectiveness Survey.      

CEO Effectiveness Survey

The CEO Effectiveness Survey is normally completed by the CEO and the board. It is also often completed by the CEO’s direct reports. The extra responses add value to the process particularly when respondents provide constructive written comments both in terms of the CEO’s strengths and areas for potential improvement. The comments often correlate with what are perceived to be the strengths of the CEO and areas for improvement based on the survey ratings adding further value to the CEO Effectiveness Report.

One of our Global Board Advisory Partners can debrief the Chair or other nominated person on how best to interpret and help the CEO act on the CEO Effectiveness Report. They can also assist with a debrief of the CEO and with the preparation of a CEO development plan.

Please contact us if you’d like assistance in this area.

See our prices and buy our surveys online

Select from one of our six most popular fit-for-purpose, affordable, world-class surveys which include two Board Effectiveness Surveys, two Director Effectiveness Surveys and two Leadership Team Effectiveness Surveys that will suit almost every organisation.