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What qualities do you think are most important for CEOs to have?
José Luis Campaña Pérez (iZ3)'s profile photoAdrian Mattocks's profile photoRobin Gething's profile photoSteven Streight's profile photo
Compassion, modesty, and a sense of fairness.
It is hard to mix Leadership with Management. CEO's, say for publicly traded companies, have a duty to the shareholders; so they always manage with a top-down mentality. Their first and foremost priority is profits, not the little man. Leaders, say for a country, have to lead from character, wisdom, experience, and heart. That is why you don't even need an education to qualify for the highest office in America; but you do need an education to run a big department. In my opinion CEO's can indeed be manufactured. Anyone why has spent decades on the job and has learned the ins and outs of it and how to make a profit can do the job. Leadership however has to be born from within, from the character of the person. We have seen some CEO's in our lifetime who have the combination of strong management style and leadership skills. And we have also seen some with strong management style with no leadership skills or regard for humanity.
Ability to accept golden parachutes as hush money.
In a few words, CEOs must develop their leadership. That should cover pretty much everything. John C. Maxwell's books are a good start.
The willingness to recognize one's own failures and to change, adapt and learn from them rather than to continue to push failing ideas at the expense of the company. In other words, humility. 
I like it when they get paid exorbatent amounts of money and then run the company into the ground.  cough Carly Fiorina cough
a tendency for suicide would be nice for the world.
Leaders mislead. Instead of paying the CEO 600 times what the lowest paid employee makes, let's drop it down a notch and pay them only 10 times what the janitor makes. 

Most leaders seek power, prestige, perks that enhance their feelings of arrogant elitism.

A humble, servant leader who listens to the sales clerk and gets his marketing ideas by asking customers what they need and what the competition is not delivering -- would be nice.
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