C-Suite Envy: Most Top Executives Want to be CEO

October 7, 2014 – Eighty-seven percent of executives would like to be CEO, according to a recent study released by Korn Ferry. However, data from the firm, based on leadership assessments of more than 2.5 million leaders over the past four decades, concludes that only 15 percent of executives are highly “learning agile” – a key predictor of success and a critical attribute of effective, breakthrough leaders. In addition, when asked if C-level jobs are more or less desirable than five years ago, 59 percent of executives responded that those top jobs are more appealing today. The three most desired C-suite jobs are CEO, COO and CMO. The top three most challenging, according to executives, are CEO, COO and CFO. “While the majority of executives say they aspire to leadership in the C-suite, effectiveness there is easier said than done,” said Jane Stevenson, vice chairman, board and CEO services practices at Korn Ferry. “Today’s global marketplace is characterized by slow growth and fast change,” said Ms. Stevenson. But to succeed, she added, “leaders must have a high quotient of learning agility.” The big question for recruiters, said HSZ Media editor-in-chief, Scott A. Scanlon, is how to best forecast the ‘winning abilities’ of aspiring leaders. “In my view, this is going to be the defining objective for talent consultants of the future,” said Mr. Scanlon, as recruiters make the leap from simply identifying leaders to predicting leadership success. “This is where the rubber meets the road,” said Mr. Scanlon. “This is the fastest growing segment of the talent management field, this is the singular place where ‘staffing’ steps aside and ‘consulting’ takes over, yet not a single talent advisor today can say they have a lock on this part of the business. In so many ways this shift in orientation for recruiters creates a wide open race for industry supremacy.”

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