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New book cites decisiveness, consistency as key CEO traits

'The CEO Next Door' draws on leadership ‘genome’ study; making a prompt decision is better than making no decision at all

Botelho and Powell
Co-authors Elena Botelho, left, and Kim Powell

March 2, 2018
By William Ehart

The board may be your boss, but when CEOs fail, it’s usually about the team under them, not the directors above them.

That’s among the key findings detailed in the upcoming book “The CEO Next Door” by two principals at consulting firm ghSMART, based on 10 years of research on more than 2,600 leaders in the corporate and nonprofit spheres.

The study, called the CEO Genome Project, made the cover of Harvard Business Review
last year.

“What was a shocking finding was that while the board is by far the number one concern of an incoming leader, the number one mistake for 75 percent of them is around their team, the people under them,” co-author Elena Botelho told CEO Update.

Botelho and co-author Kim Powell are principals at ghSMART, whose clients include Fortune 500 companies.