How does a CEO’s personality affect a firm’s performance?

Research looked at the correlation between results and characteristics like age, political affiliation and overconfidence.

by Stephen Jones

What makes a ‘good’ (or ‘bad’) leader has been the topic of academic and philosophical contemplation for millennia. The truth is it’s often subjective, dependent on what parameters they’re being judged on and the tint of the glasses you’re looking at them through. 

Take Tesla CEO Elon Musk for example. On his ability to grow a business and transform sectors, Musk is surely one of the very best. His unerring vision and drive to succeed have seen Tesla rack up a market value of over $800bn, with Musk overtaking Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest man. 

However, this self-belief can lead him to be impulsive and unyielding. Few would point to him as a beacon of high EQ leadership, highlighted for instance by his actions at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, in which he played down the threat of the virus on Twitter and initially refused to close factories close to outbreaks

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