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Things are different in the C-suite

September 9, 2015

CEOs, C-level executives and corporate board members are like most managers except they’re responsible for much more than simply “managing” a company. In many cases they need to be some combination of: visionary, comfortable with risk, innovative, honest, highly strategic, tactical, whip smart, optimistic, unflappable, great at spotting talent, humble, charismatic, technically skilled, and of course, able to pull the very best effort out of everyone they lead. Easy, right? Of course not.

According to an oft-quoted survey of about 1,000 top leaders in the US by John R. Graham, Campbell R. Harvey, and Manju Puri of Duke University, the data shows that CEOs are different than most people. “While 64% of the general population can be described as ‘risk-averse,’ only 9.8% of CEOs fall into that category,” it reads. “Moreover, 80% of CEOs are optimistic and proactive—a number also well above the normal percentage.”

Ethan Hale also quotes this study in describing how CEOs differ from most people in his article titled “The Self-Mastery Secrets of CEOs.” “The business greats—people like Jack Welch and Richard Branson—all display self-mastery on a daily basis,” he writes. “They have focus, motivation, and the passion to constantly seek to move themselves and their enterprises forward. Their success and fame can’t be chalked up to luck or coincidence—because their ongoing fortune is a consistent effect of their self-mastery.”

This comes as no surprise because things are simply more intense in the C-suite. There’s more pressure. Things are more complicated and there’s more riding on the decisions that are made at the executive level.

That’s why The Linkage 20 Conversations is specifically designed for CEOs, C-suite executives and board members. It allows high-level leaders to come together to talk and learn from some of the brightest business minds in the world (and each other) in a small and focused group. This exclusive program helps participants tackle the unique business challenges that C-suite executives face every day.

Current faculty members describe this innovative learning experience best:

“The program forces the faculty to focus on what is most important in their work, and exposes the participants to a broad range of interesting ideas in a short period of time,” says Michael A. Cusumano, Professor of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management. “This is more than executive education because it really becomes two-way learning. There’s a give-and-take between the participants and the faculty.”

“The format is highly unusual,” says Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Professor of Business Administration, Senior Associate Dean Chair, MBA Program, Harvard Business School. “It’s focused on intimate conversations in a small group, not on lengthy PowerPoint presentations, and it allows the kind of deep reflection that is invaluable to anyone in a significant leadership position.”

In fact, recent participants report that the weeklong format—a series of 90-minute conversations with global thought leaders and renowned faculty from business, consulting, and major universities—has led to real breakthroughs. It’s a safe environment for senior-level executives to collaborate with like-minded colleagues on the challenges facing organizations today including leading organizational change, local and global strategy, avoiding the “execution trap,” managing global, diverse and dispersed teams, and identifying the right competencies to develop talent and position them for success.

And that’s just the beginning.

This invitation-only program is different because high-level executives are different.

Learn more about our upcoming programs.


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