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When looking for a new CEO of a company, it is important to not only take into consideration their vast experience, product/service knowledge, and pay grade. It is important to ask them specific questions in interviews, relating to how they manage people beneath them. You want to make sure your new CEO creates an atmosphere of care, understanding, and value in each and every employee. To be a just and fair CEO, it is important that he/she exhibits, through understanding and experience, the following three traits.

1) He/She has been in the lowest position in a company before.

When CEO’s have been in the lowest position in a company before, it shows that he/she knows what it is like to be the, “new guy.” It shows he/she knows what it is like to feel intimidated to share his/her opinions to his/her boss or colleagues. When CEO’s have this experience, they have a working knowledge of how to do other positions within a company and the challenges that come with it. As a CEO, it is important to understand how to do other people’s jobs in the company, because it will help him/her to be fair to employees when issues arise.

2) He/She can articulately explain his/her management style.

If a CEO does not know how to explain his/her management style and give specific examples of how he/she has implemented this style in the past, it shows they are inexperienced and very well could be lacking the foundation needed to be your new CEO.

Their management style should be able to cover public speaking, organizational skills, thought leadership, an in-depth understanding of the company’s products/services, kindly encouraging and correcting workers in their positions, how to recognize a leader in the making, the ability to innovate, how to take educated and worthwhile risks, how to create and execute decisions, how to delegate fairly, how to control his/her emotions, how to celebrate and reward success, how to create incentives for employees, and the like.

3) He/She can explain numerous experiences handling problems with a team he/she has lead in a just manner.

One of the worst feelings in the world is when your boss corrects or reprimands you in front of other employees. It is degrading, embarrassing, and discouraging. Employees feel enraged when this happens but also helpless. They cannot express their anger for fear of getting further reprimanded. So, they keep it to themselves or start to complain to their equals in the company. This creates a sense of distrust, disloyalty, anger, and tension in the atmosphere.

It is important, as a leader of any kind, to take employees aside and encourage them towards making the right decisions in their positions. If a potential CEO expresses that they do not privately reprimand or correct their subordinates, this is a major issue. This potential CEO should be able to give examples of how he/she corrected problems in their company, while simultaneously letting employees know they are heard, understood, and taken very seriously. When employees know this, they feel they can come to the CEO with any qualm they may have without being judged, dismissed, or yelled at. This creates open communication, a quicker turnaround time for fixing problems, and a happier work environment. “A recent study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.” That is a 22% gap in productivity, which can result is a major decline is meeting deadlines with an employee’s best work.

In the end, knowing how to pick a CEO based on their credentials, experience, and knowledge is vital for any company to succeed. Making sure he/she is fair, understanding, and empathetic, however, leads to happy workers who are exceedingly more productive than unhappy ones.